Uber has announced a new Trip Tracker feature as part of its Family Profiles service that will make it possible for the paying member to keep a record of all the rides that he or she has hired. The reason behind the additional service is to assuage parents who want to be confident that their children are safe, and it will also enable parents to know how their children are spending their time in Uber.
BidnessEtc's Saad Chandra reports that Uber shared examples of when the new addition to their services will come in handy, such as when children are riding to school or when a spouse is traveling to work. Users can receive automatic notifications so they can be assured that their Family Profile members have reached their destination and are secure.
The ride-sharing business explains that it uses the best possible technology for the Trip Tracker service to keep the Uber app on their customers' phones always up-to-date. Information on the routes taken is emailed after the ride, but now the latest process allows real-time tracking.
The new process can inform loved ones of any accident, argument, or unforeseen car trouble along the way. In India, Uber added an SOS button to alert authorities after a rape took place related to an Uber customer.
Currently, Uber is available in more than 60 countries worldwide.
The new Trip Tracker feature has been accessible and well-received in Dallas, Phoenix, and Atlanta, and now has been launched wherever Uber functions.
"The feature is designed to give families an extra feeling of security by letting their loved ones know where they are while riding Uber, the route they are traveling, and exactly when they've arrived safely," an Uber spokesperson told CNET.
Caleb Pershan writes for Gothamist San Francisco that his aunt, who lives in San Francisco, was upset when a similar service in the city, Shuddle, abruptly shut down in April. She and others now had to decide whether or not, and at what age, they should permit their kids to use Uber or Lyft by using their own phones.
Just two months ago Uber began offering family accounts. The company allows up to 10 people to join one account which handles all payments. Uber urged members to add their friends to their joint accounts so that the member can pay for the friend when he or she wants rides with Uber.
However, the real-time aspect of the service may feel a bit strange to the friend who is receiving the complimentary ride, says Jacob Kastrenakes, reporting for The Verge.
If individuals do not want to reveal where they are traveling every time they use Uber, a customer can choose a different billing method and she will no longer be tracked. In the end, says the reporter, the new app is targeted at parents and families who want and need the comfort that comes with knowing where and when a family member is traveling in the city.