Lyft plans to extend its in-app emergency tools beyond the option to call 911. The ridesharing firm is partnering with the security company ADT on safety features, starting with a US pilot program that will let you contact ADT if you need help. Thankfully, it's not just an alternative phone call. You can text if you're worried that talking will put you in danger, and ADT will still get in touch with relevant authorities if they don't hear a response.
The pilot will start in early 2020 across nine markets that include Chicago, Los Angeles and New Jersey. If it proves effective, Lyft could expand the initiative to the entire US.
The widened safety options will come on the back of other safety improvements, including continuous background checks for drivers. However, they'll also follow a string of complaints about safety in Lyft vehicles, including the firm's poor handling of sexual harassment and reports of sexual assault. The company was relatively late to adding in-app 911 (Uber added a button roughly a year earlier), too. The ADT alliance is a tacit acknowledgment that Lyft could do more to protect passengers, and might give the company an edge over Uber by allowing for more discreet support in an emergency.