November 18, 2020
Lyft's 'Emergency Help' feature lets users silently alert unsafe rides in real time
Lyft users can now discreetly call emergency help if they feel unsafe with a driver or rider.
The ride-hailing company partnered with the security company American District Telegraph (ADT) to launch the Emergency Help feature.
Riders and drivers can connect with an ADT security professional silently or by voice if they feel unsafe or uncomfortable during a ride. Lyft hopes to prevent incidents from happening and have authorities immediately intervene if they do.
Riders are able to discreetly and silently choose whether they want ADT to text them, call them or alert 911 on their behalf. Drivers only have the option to request a call from ADT, intended to keep the driver focused.
The feature also allows users to alert authorities so they can arrive at the user's live location.
"By enabling users to quickly and silently escalate concerns to security professionals and first responders at the tap of a button, we hope to prevent safety incidents from happening and immediately intervene if they do," said Jennifer Brandenburger, Director of Public Policy for Community Safety at Lyft.
The company said it plans to integrate ADT to its Smart Trip Check-in products, which prompts a check-in message to a user who ended their trip far from their intended destination.
Uber took similar measures in February by launching its "On-Trip Reporting" tool, which lets people discreetly alert the company about non-emergency safety incidents in real-time.
Last year, dozens of women filed lawsuits against Lyft, claiming that they were sexually assaulted by the company's drivers.
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