How Uber Beacon Helps Improve Safety for Riders and Drivers
Globally, there are approximately 1.3 million collision-related fatalities on the road every year. Crash fatalities are still the leading cause of death for people between 15-29 years old, impacting families, communities, and cities. Governments around the world are working to reduce the risks, committing more resources towards improving road safety.
At Uber, we want to do our part by committing the power of our technology to help make travel safer for everyone. We have multiple teams at Uber working on road safety, reflecting a variety of disciplines, and we’re approaching this challenge from a number of angles. On the platform itself, we have many features to help improve road safety, such as driving hour limits to help curb drowsy driving, a partnership with the GHSA to raise awareness about seatbelts, and a 911 assistance feature to make it easier for riders and drivers to receive emergency assistance.
Uber Beacon, launched in 2016, is one of our more visible safety products. This device mounts on the driver’s windshield and uses color-pairing technology to help drivers and riders connect more quickly during pick-ups. Drivers have the option to add a Beacon to their vehicle and can unpair the device at anytime.
Beyond its visual signaling, the Beacon device also contains an accelerometer and gyroscope, similar to the sensors that currently exist in most smartphones. This sensor technology makes Beacon a perfect complement to our recently announced automatic crash detection feature, a solution that harnesses the power of GPS and other sensors in the smartphone to detect possible crashes. After a possible crash is detected, Uber initiates a Ride Check by reaching out to both the rider and the driver to offer quick assistance.