Latest Uber Patent Would Allow Users To Avoid ‘Unsafe Areas’

Uber has patented a controversial piece of technology that could route users away from ‘unsafe’ areas.

The patent application, updated in late June, would allow Uber users to select what the app determines to be the safest route, rather than the fastest one that’s usually selected.

The technology would use crime statistics, academic databases, social media posts, and media reports to determine which areas are safe and which are not.

“Safe areas may be determined based on the number of incidents relevant to driver or rider safety, the presence of lighting, the presence of pull-off areas… and one or more of the like,” the patent reads.

Additionally, the technology could be used to assess the safety of an Uber driver’s vehicle. If a rider sets a preference to ride in only the safest of vehicles, the app could draw on information from federal safety databases to look for a nearby vehicle that meets the user’s preference.

On the surface, these features may seem harmless enough. However, CNET reports that there’s a risk it could be used for classist or racist purposes to avoid areas populated by certain people, even if they’re not necessarily unsafe neighborhoods.

What’s more, allowing riders to select their safety preference could restrict the money earning potential of those drivers who don’t own a vehicle loaded with the latest safety equipment.

At this early stage, it remains to be seen if the ride-hailing company intends on implementing this technology into its application. If it does, it better tread carefully because the latest thing the ride-hailing company needs is to court even more controversy.

  • MarketAndChurch

    It’s only an issue because liberals make it an issue, but I do agree, not every high crime area is the hood where you have to watch your back everywhere you go and not trust anyone. That being said, it would probably rule out taking an uber to uber’s own headquarters, an area of heavy homelessness and petty homeless-on-homeless crime.

    • brn

      Crime rates often are class and / or race related. If the politically correct want to improve that, they need to admit it. I’m not sure how you’ll ever fix high crime rates in lower class neighborhoods. The lack of funds creates desperation. Desperation incents crime.

  • EyalN

    In London the driver needs to drive out of London and then come back.
    In Sweden they need to drive out of Sweden and come back.
    The main problem is that the drive should stay out of the car.

    • Status

      If you don’t want an Uber, don’t use it.

      Too bad you can’t magically stop others from using it like you want to.

  • clueless economist

    That is good information, especially for somones visiting a city who may not know which areas are dangers.

    If you want people to drive through your neighborhoods, clean up your high-crime neighborhoods. Don’t put my life in jeopardy because it might look politically insensitive.

  • clueless economist

    The statistics say otherwise.

  • b_digital

    This technology Is racist on many levels

    • clueless economist

      Is reality also racist?

    • Mr. EP9

      Is this troll bait? I feel like it’s troll bait.

    • brn

      Technically, statistics can be racist (by the true definition). That doesn’t make them wrong or bad.

    • Ronald Roman

      …and that is good.

  • BlackPegasus

    Oh boy, Prepare for the next hashtag movement against Uber involving SJWs. 🙄

  • Spyder Hole Fantome

    I don’t need no uber in my hood anydamfuqqinhow!!!

  • Enter Ranting

    I gave up using Uber years ago.

    • Ronald Roman

      Who cares?

  • Ronald Roman

    Controversial because…blacks?

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