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Uber announces safety tools to secure London licence

By Charlotte Ricca

Uber launches discrimination button following customer complaints

has introduced new safety features in a bid to extend its London licence after complaints that passengers had faced sexism and discrimination.

In September, Uber London Limited (ULL) was given a two-month licence by Transport for London (TfL), which said it needed to see more evidence that the company was committed to “ensure passenger safety”.

In response, the taxi company has launched a number of tools, including a discrimination button, following repeated claims that passengers have faced sexism and discrimination. Drivers and riders can press the button to instantly report abuse.

Uber has also launched road safety training for ULL drivers, as well as ‘RideCheck’ which can detect possible crashes or if a trip goes off course. Users can then contact the emergency services if necessary.

London is Uber’s most important European market, however, it has struggled to maintain its hold on the market, due to on-going safety issues.

In 2017 TfL declined to renew ULL’s licence due to concerns about the company’s approach to public safety and security, particularly when it came to reporting criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

After making changes to its business model, the company was granted a temporary 15-month licence. This was then renewed with a two-month licence in September of this year, while additional information was requested.

ULL is hoping these new safety measures will ensure it’s given a five-year licence later this month.

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