Uber announced Tuesday that it will allow drivers to record videos of the races on their cell phones. According to the company, the measure aims to increase the safety of partners and is already undergoing tests in the city of Aracajú (SE).
The camera, which will record the inside of the car, will be the cell phone’s own device, which connected to the partner application Sentinel, from the company Grip Mobility, will be able to record images of the trip. Passengers will be warned by the Uber app that the race can be filmed if they want to refuse and start another car.
When the race starts, the video – which is recorded with audio – starts capturing the trip automatically and, when the journey ends, the video also ends the recording automatically. According to Uber, it is not possible to start a recording after the race is accepted by the driver – he needs to opt for the feature at the time the car is called. The files are transferred to the server via the internet, over Wi-Fi or mobile networks. The driver then chooses whether to send them to the company.
Uber further stated that all recorded images are encrypted, without the driver or the partner company itself having access. Once recorded, the partners send the images to a server that stores the file for 30 days and then deletes the information.
Only Uber will have the encryption key and will be able to open the images according to formal requests from partners or public investigative bodies. In this regard, the company claims that it does not have access to the images – which are on the Grip Mobility server – without formalizing the application process.
“Since Uber defined safety as its priority on a global basis, we have continuously sought to test new technologies that help us to advance in this area”, explains the director general of Uber in Brazil, Claudia Woods. “We want to understand whether this image recording technology can contribute to driver drivers and users to have even more peace of mind to continue using Uber, of course, always respecting privacy rules.”
The feature is being tested in the city of Aracajú, only by selected groups of drivers. The company’s intention, however, is to expand the service to other cities if the pilot project is successful.
In September of last year, the transport app 99 also added a camera feature to film the trip in and out of the partner car. Operated by a button, the driver can start a live broadcast with the app’s security center, or just record the races. The images are stored for a period of two months.
* Trainee under the supervision of editor Bruno Romani