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Uber will allow passengers and drivers in Brazil and Mexico to record audio of their rides as it attempts to improve its safety record and image.
The ride-hailing company plans to pilot the feature in cities in both countries in December. It eventually hopes to launch it in other markets, including the United States, although it has no timeline for possible expansion.
Feature - Customers - Trips - Recordings - Rider
The feature will allow customers to opt into recording all or select trips. Recordings will be stored on the rider or driver’s phone and encrypted to protect privacy, and users will not be able to listen to them. They can later share a recording with Uber, which will have an encryption key, if they want to report a problem.
Whether the recording feature will deter violent behavior to help riders and drivers is unknown. But Uber stands to benefit because the recordings could help the company mitigate losses and reign in liability for incidents that flare up between drivers and passengers.
Example - Match - Erupts - Driver - Passenger
For example, if a shouting match erupts between a driver and passenger, and both accuse the other of being verbally abusive, the recording could help Uber determine where fault lies after the incident, mitigating any kind of loss or claim that could be made against the driver, said Thom Rickert, vice president and emerging risk specialist at Trident Public Risk Solutions.
“It probably is not going to prevent something from happening,” Rickert said. “It will probably just help you analyze what can we do to change outcomes the next time.”
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