Uber tracking how its drivers here perform

The office of Uber Singapore at River Valley, pictured on Sept 25, 2014.
The office of Uber Singapore at River Valley, pictured on Sept 25, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

Uber will track the driving behaviour of its Singapore drivers from today, using a new monitoring function in Uber apps.

It will tap the GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities of drivers' mobile devices to measure their driving speeds as well as how hard they brake and how rapidly they accelerate.

Daily reports will be given to drivers about how their driving behaviour compares with their peers'.

Ms Dorothy Chou, head of public policy for safety, privacy and security at Uber, told The Straits Times yesterday: "We want to improve the safety and smoothness of the ride. This will help drivers understand their driving style and how they can improve."

Ms Chou said Uber tested this "telematics" system in a six-month pilot in the United States earlier this year and is progressively rolling it out in Asia-Pacific now.

 

Vehicle telematics is a field which uses sensors to track the vehicle's location and the driver's behaviour, from speeds to braking patterns. The data is then transmitted to computers to be analysed.

Ms Chou said there was a 10 per cent drop in the incidence of drivers braking abruptly and accelerating rapidly in the US pilot, but did not give exact numbers.

She said the new feature will provide more transparency. "Before we had this technology, it was 'driver said this, and rider said this'. But now we have evidence which says this is what empirically happened."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2016, with the headline 'Uber tracking how its drivers here perform'. Print Edition | Subscribe