Uber Technologies Inc. stated it received 5,981 reports of sexual assault involving U.S. passengers or drivers throughout 2017 and 2018, underscoring the risk that has been a chief criticism of ride-hailing firms world wide.
In a report released Thursday, Uber voluntarily disclosed the first comprehensive evaluation of questions of safety involving its ride service. Sexual violence particularly has been a challenge for Uber as well as rivals including Lyft Inc. and China’s Didi Chuxing Technology Co., prompting heightened pressure from lawmakers, advocacy groups and customers to address the issue.
Nonconsensual touching was essentially the most prevalent type of sexual assault that occurred throughout or in conjunction with Uber trips through the two-year period, based on data compiled by Uber, with 1,560 reported incidents last yr. There have been 515 incidents of rape or attempted rape in 2018.
Uber identified 5 categories of sexual assault, including nonconsensual touching and kissing.
There was a 3.7% uptick in the whole number of reported sexual assault incidents, to 3,045 in 2018 from 2,936 in 2017. However, the number of trips on the Uber app also rose year-over-year by 30%.[stock-market-ticker symbols=”UBER” scroll=”false” speed=”slow”]
However Uber’s numbers could also be much lower than reality: sexual assault is chronically underreported.
Numerous organizations that work to end sexual assault and domestic violence applauded Uber’s report for raising awareness of the issue and encouraging more survivors to report acts of violence. A spokeswoman for Jane Doe Inc., a coalition towards sexual assault and domestic violence, stated Uber’s report reveals “how significantly they’re taking these issues” and the way the corporate “can play a task in supporting survivors and preventing violence.”
Throughout the two-year interval, 19 people died from physical assaults that occurred throughout or were related to an Uber trip, based on the report, including eight riders and 7 drivers. There were 97 fatal car crashes involving an Uber ride, with about 65% of these crashes involving another automotive and 31% involving a pedestrian or bicycle.
The report doesn’t embody security incidents exterior the U.S., which can be considerably larger in areas with extra violence the place Uber operates, together with Brazil and South Africa.
Uber has lengthy confronted criticism for its screening course of for drivers, which has in some instances allowed folks with severe felony backgrounds to drive for the corporate, as uncovered by metropolis officers in Houston just a few years in the past in the midst of an audit. Final week, Uber lost its license to operate in London partly due to a loophole in its app that allowed 14,000 cases wherein unauthorized drivers swapped their very own photographs with these of licensed drivers to ferry round passengers, posing as Uber drivers.
At a Wall Street Journal conference last month, Lyft co-founder and President John Zimmer pledged that his firm would enhance security for riders and drivers amid allegations that a few of its drivers had sexually assaulted and raped feminine passengers. Dozens of ladies have sued Lyft in current weeks, alleging they’d been assaulted by drivers working for the journey service, and that Lyft mishandled their reviews.
Uber stated in its report that in 2017 and 2018, greater than 1,000,000 potential drivers didn’t make it by way of Uber’s screening course of.
The corporate additionally highlighted quite a lot of security enhancements it has made to its service, together with an emergency button within the app to name 911 and the flexibility for passengers to have a beloved one observe their journey and know once they have arrived. The corporate stated it has tripled the scale of its security staff since 2017.
Whereas the numbers are startling, the incidents signify a fraction of the two.Three billion Uber rides accomplished through the two-year research. The overwhelming majority of journeys on Uber—99.9%—are accomplished with none security associated situation, Uber stated.
“In america alone, greater than 45 rides on Uber occur each second,” stated Uber’s chief authorized officer Tony West. “At that scale, we’re not resistant to society’s most severe security challenges.”
Corrections & Amplifications
Uber misplaced its license in London partly due to 14,000 cases wherein an unauthorized driver posed as a certified driver. An earlier model of the story incorrectly stated there have been 14,000 unauthorized drivers. (Dec. 6, 2019)