Why the ‘panic’ button is not an #Uber app feature for Americans?

Sanjay Puri Blog on "Panic button on Uber app in India & the 911 in the US."

Panic button on Uber app in India & the 911 in the US?: Do you think Americans need a panic button?

Uber cabs are probably safer than  regular taxis. In the US, the recent shooting rampage (in Michigan) by an Uber driver has opened up different questions about a riders’ safety during a cab ride. Should there be an easy way to raise an alarm when an Uber ride goes wrong? In the US, you have no  panic button  available on the Uber app like in India because Americans can dial 911.

The ‘panic button” got introduced in India last year after a lot of media uproar about alleged charges of alleged sexual assault by an Uber cab driver.  Introducing additional safety measures and stringent driver checks along with an in-app emergency (panic) button is what Uber probably had to resort to, for saving business in India. Uber says it has come up with the ‘panic button’ feature for India simply because the emergency response infrastructure in India is not as strong as in America. The Uber app in India has a ‘one-click’ button for riders to trigger an alarm for the company’s in-house team.  A rider can pre-feed emergency contacts and it allows monitoring by GPS in real-time.

Considering the number of violent cab ride incidents that take place globally, and in the US recently (the recent shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan by an Uber driver), I wonder if Uber management should seriously consider initiating a ‘panic button’ in the US.

For Americans, a panic button can come in handy in case 911 is not reachable or a rider is unable to think of an appropriate response due to a panicky situation.  An emergency tab on the app will help riders connect with the help of an automated response system connecting them to emergency contacts and passing on information about their route and driver etc.  to expedite the process.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with me.

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