Uber’s making a lot of changes in an effort to repair its tattered reputation on several fronts. While new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi hopes that acquiring a bike-share company will soften the transportation company’s difficulties in international markets, there are still legal issues with the recent self-driving crash, and amid all of this, safety concerns about the company’s drivers persist after sexual assault claims from passengers. CNBC now reports that protecting customers will now be at the forefront of Uber’s existence.
As such, the company will be using the Checkr service (along with another unidentified company) to dig deeper than background checks that only include felonies and (ideally) will also extend to “sex crimes and traffic violations” that go on the books as misdemeanors. These checks will occur at least annually with sporadic checks ongoing. Another important change will also soon take effect — Uber will roll out new app features that include a direct tap to 911 in case of an emergency, in addition to capabilities for riders to transmit their whereabouts to family.
New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the Associated Press that the new changes aren’t being made solely in an effort to fix Uber’s public image but that they’re necessary ones because he wants to “change Uber’s substance, and the image may follow.” Khosrowshahi stressed that he wants Uber to be safer for everyone, both on the riding and driving front, and given that the company recently pledged $5 million to help prevent sexual assault, it seems that this is a continuation of that effort.