Uber Beefs up Security Measures With Panic Button in India

Feb 11, 2015 04:15 PM EST | Matt Mercuro

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Uber has added new features to its taxi hailing app in India after being banned in New Delhi last year over rape allegations against one of its drivers.

Uber's India app now has an "SOS" button to call local police directly to the vehicle a passenger is in and a "Send Status" feature to allow passengers to share ride information with their contacts in real time, according to Reuters.

A company spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the features were the first market-specific safety functions launched by Uber. It plans to release safety features in other countries within the next couple of months as well.

"Safety concerns tend to be unique for each local market. We recognized the demand for these features in India," the spokesman said.

New Delhi authorities banned Uber back in December after rape allegations were reported. A rule was made after the incident stating that all taxis are now required to be equipped with a physical panic button to help passengers in need of assistance.

Though the service remains officially banned in New Delhi, Uber resumed operations last month and has since started stepping up background checks on all of its drivers in India.

Though the new security features are a step in the right direction, Uber is still fighting bans in places like Spain and South Korea over a number of different violations like using unlicensed drivers.

The U.S.-based company has also had to deal with rape allegations against drivers in Boston and Chicago.

The San Francisco-based company has grown into one of the world's largest startups the past couple of years. Currently the company is valued at $40 billion, with operations in 54 countries around the globe.

So what do you think about the news? Would the security features ease your mind enough to use Uber or does the company still have work to do? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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