Uber India Introduces A Panic Button In Case Of Passenger Emergencies

It took months, but Uber is listening.

The car service's Indian division announced several new safety features designed to protect customers from their drivers if necessary.

The update, which includes an app-based panic button, comes as part of Uber's efforts to make up for months of bad press.

In January, a New Delhi Uber driver was charged with raping a 25-year-old female who'd called him for a ride.

After the Mumbai Transportation Department threatened the company with a ban for failing to implement mandatory safety standards, Uber stepped up to protect its customers.

Beginning February 11, every passenger will have access to an in-app SOS button that alerts police to his or her location and a Safety Net feature that will allow the passenger to share the details or the ride with five contacts.

A specially appointed Incident Response Team, which will also receive the SOS notifications, is in place to investigate incidents ranging from assault to lost wallets.

The team, available at every hour of the day and night, will reportedly assist local law enforcement if need be.

Uber also outsourced driver background checks, including both criminal record checks and address verification, to security firm First Advantage.

One can only hope Uber brings its new safety features across the ocean, seeing as a Boston-area driver was charged with assaulting and raping a female passenger in December.

When it comes to safety, Uber shouldn't take any chances.

Citations: Uber will include panic button in India app (CNN )