Uber is piloting a controversial new technology that’s capable of tracking a driver’s bad behavior – speeding, cutting corners or aggressively braking – via the sensors in their smartphones.
The update, which is rolling out to drivers in dozens of cities as part of a test this week, would give the company more feedback about its drivers should customer complaints arise as it relates to unsafe driving.
But as the Wall Street Journal highlights, it’s also sure to raise concerns with regard to driver privacy and how far the company can reach into the lives of workers it classifies as independent contractors, not employees.
Starting later this week in select cities, drivers will be presented with a summary following each trip that details how smooth the journey was. The publication notes that there will be separate scores for metrics like acceleration and braking as well as a map that will highlight where each infraction took place. Should a driver exceed the local speed limit, Uber will alert them via the app in real time.
Furthermore, some tests will involve accessing the gyroscope within the driver’s phone to determine if they may have moved it, for example, to send a text message while driving.
During the test phase, Uber says drivers won’t face any negative consequences based on low scores although that stance may very well change in the future.
Image courtesy Bloomberg News