Latest in Culture

Image credit:

Uber is using smartphone data to alert it to bad drivers

The company will also put Bop It toys in the back of vehicles to entertain drunk passengers.
Matt Brian, @m4tt
January 26, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Although Uber's review system allows both riders and drivers to submit feedback on a recent journey, it can be hard for the company to know what really happened. Did a driver constantly break the speed limit or was a customer totally unfair with their feedback? Without evidence, it's simply one person's word against another's. Uber has a plan to change that, though. Using gyroscopes and GPS chips built into driver and passenger smartphones, the company's new scheme will log when a driver is (or isn't) driving dangerously. Feedback will still be welcome, but the idea is to back up words and scores with cold hard data.

To ease tracking fears, Uber says it will only be able to "review" complaints after they've been submitted, not detect driver errors as they happen. If a rider leaves feedback saying that a driver took corners too fast, the company can use data collected from its apps to see if that was actually the case. "Mostly it's about talking to both sides," says Joe Sullivan, Uber's Chief Security Officer. "But increasingly technology can help get to the truth."

Uber's trials aren't all about (potentially) vilifying drivers, though. In an effort to protect freelancers from disruptive passengers, the ridesharing service has begun leaving kids' toys in the back of vehicles. In Charlotte, for instance, riders may find a Bop It toy, which has proved "a great way to keep drunk riders entertained so they don't distract their driver." Customers in Seattle will also see drivers use color-coded lights to make their vehicles more visible at night.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Someone bought the new Chromecast and told Reddit all about it

Someone bought the new Chromecast and told Reddit all about it

View
Microsoft is bringing Xbox remote play to iOS

Microsoft is bringing Xbox remote play to iOS

View
Apple iPad (2020) and iPadOS 14 review

Apple iPad (2020) and iPadOS 14 review

View
Here's everything Amazon announced at its big hardware event

Here's everything Amazon announced at its big hardware event

View
Amazon's superhero show 'The Boys' is getting a college spinoff

Amazon's superhero show 'The Boys' is getting a college spinoff

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr