News / South Africa

Naidine Sibanda
3 minute read
7 Jun 2018
11:14 am

Uber applauds upgraded safety feature

Naidine Sibanda

Uber expands its partnership with Aura to make full use of its cutting-edge technology expertise to ensure safety for their drivers and delivery partners.

Due to trends of safety violation incidents on Uber drivers, the association decided to extend its safety mechanisms and expand its partnership with the tech company, Aura, to launch a mobile emergency app, Rosebank Killarney Gazette reports.

The app gives Uber drivers and Uber Eats delivery partners across the country access to an improved safety feature.

READ MORE: Uber driver found safe after being kidnapped in Linden

General manager for Uber Eats SA Ailyssa Pretorius said: “We are proud to be announcing this partnership that will be available for delivery partners across South Africa. This is a first for the delivery industry. We strongly believe that working with Aura to provide this safety app is a great first step to fulfilling our commitment to the safety of all delivery partners across South Africa.”

The emergency app, operated through the Aura mobile app, connects driver and delivery partners to the closest private response vehicles from a nationwide network of security or medical response partners.

First, the driver or delivery partner pushes the mobile emergency button on the Aura app in an unsafe situation.

The first step of the Aura emergency app allows drivers in an unsafe situation, to click on the panic button.

Next, the closest security or medical response partner is activated automatically, and the closest private security vehicle accepts the request via their Aura security app.

Built-in GPS navigation leads the private security vehicle to the scene by using the fastest route possible, which helps to reduce response time.

Lastly, the built-in GPS navigation leads the private security vehicle to the scene by using the fastest route possible.

“The new introduction of our technology has helped evolve security by offering smart technology that cuts out the middleman, enabling driver partners to connect with the closest security or medical response partner at the touch of a button,” Warren Myers, CEO of Aura, said.

Uber first partnered with Aura in 2016 to run a three-month pilot of SOS buttons. Response time was a key challenge, but now with the latest improvement, drivers and delivery partners will be responded to within minutes.

All technology is backed up by Aura’s control room, so that the South African Police Service and Emergency Medical Service can be dispatched to the scene if required. The identity of the person making the call automatically appears on the system as well, so all security or medical response teams always have key information on hand.

Myers concluded: “We are proud champions of the ‘Uberisation’ of on-demand security apps for businesses. We look forward to continuing our partnership in bringing fast, effective security technology to Uber’s driver partners in SA.”

He also stated that this was a phased rollout therefore not all drivers and delivery partners would have access to the Aura app immediately and Aura, being a Business to Business (B2B) company, meaning the app was not available to the public.


For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.