One of the risks of a new industry—like ride sharing via companies like Uber—is that they are often not as well regulated as industries which have been long-established. This does not necessarily make these industries dangerous nor these companies reckless; it is just that there is not enough data to know, for certain, which regulations need to be developed.
And as such, the ride-sharing app industry has had a few bumps along the way. But things are improving and will continue to improve as both the technology gets better as does owner and developer awareness of flaws.
For example, Uber actually monitors driver behavior. They have recently outlined what they look for, to help consumers better understand the business—and, perhaps, keep drivers in check too. The company says that the ride-hailing platform issues in-app warnings to drivers who drive too fast, brake too hard, or exhibit otherwise risky driving behaviors.
The app will even warn drivers when it is time to take a break—if they have been on the clock too long.
In a blog post, today, the company writes: “Today we use harsh braking and acceleration as indicators of unsafe driving behavior. Harsh braking is highly correlated to unsafe behaviors like tailgating, aggressive driving, and losing focus on the road.”
While some might share concern that Uber may be trying to exhibit too much control, the company argues, instead, these efforts are necessary for ensuring the best rider experience and to deliver the safest ride possible.
The company blog post continues, “Across the globe, nearly 1,250,000 people die in road crashes each year. At Uber, we’re determined to decrease this number by raising awareness of driving patterns to our partners.”
Uber has also unveiled other app updates that do appear to align with this claim that they are only trying to maximize user experience. For example, the new Driver Destinations feature lets users input their journey’s destination—like the office or their home at the end of the day—so that Uber will only send trip requests that fall along those routes. The company also added “pause requests” so that drivers can take a break (and will not receive ride requests).
It also seems that Uber is experimenting with compensating drivers who experience excessive wait times for riders who are not ready when they arrive.