If you've ever been in an Uber where the driver seems to think they're on a racetrack, there will soon be a way to prove that they were driving dangerously without it being a case of your word against theirs. The ride-sharing company is going to start analysing data from a driver's smartphone to check if they were driving recklessly.
Uber said it has been running a pilot program where it checks gyroscope and GPS data in a smartphone if a driver receives a bad review from a customer. The GPS can provide the overall speed of the car while the gyroscope can measure changes such as excessive braking. It will even be possible for Uber to see if a driver was handling their smartphone excessively.
Uber said the new scheme is mainly for the benefit of its drivers; if they are the subject of a bad review but the data proves that the customer's feedback was inaccurate, the company will make sure that the driver's rating isn't affected.
Uber wants to use this technology proactively. If drivers are found to be moving their phones around all the time when they're driving, the company will offer them a mount to fix the problem. It also says that it will start comparing drivers on similar roads to find out if anyone is speeding. Any drivers found breaking the speed limits will be asked by the company to "curb their enthusiasm."
The company is also trying to help its drivers deal with passengers who may have had too much to drink and are being distracting. The solution? A Bop-It toy placed in the back of cars for drunk people to play with.
While Uber says it is introducing the feature primarily as a way of verifying reviews, it's hard to imagine that Uber drivers will appreciate this kind of monitoring.