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Uber launches new live-chat safety feature

The rideshare company's new partnership with ADT is designed to help in non-emergency situations where a rider feels uncomfortable.
Credit: AP
An Uber sign is displayed inside a car in Palatine, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

WASHINGTON — Uber is rolling out a new safety feature that will allow riders across the U.S. to allow passengers to talk with an ADT security agent if they feel unsafe but don't feel it's an emergency. 

The rideshare company announced the new tool Tuesday.

"Not every situation rises to the level of an emergency, and users have asked us for an option for those less critical moments," Uber said in their announcement. 

ADT is a home security brand most commonly known for their door and window alarm systems installed in homes across the country. 

Users will be able to call or text a live ADT agent at any time during their ride. That agent will be able to monitor the trip, communicate with the passenger and reach out to 911 on their behalf with details about the car (except in Milwaukee, WI, where a local ordinance prevents that feature). 

To access the live-chat feature and other safety options, riders can tap the shield icon inside the app.

The ADT live-chat service is part of Uber's revamped "Safety Toolkit," which provides various options for riders to seek help if they believe they are in danger. 

The toolkit was first introduced in 2018 with an in-app emergency button that users could use to contact Uber. In the years since, the company has updated it with the ability to verify a ride using a PIN code, send trip details to somebody outside the car and to text 911 in many cities. 

Users in 60% of the U.S. are able to text 911 directly from the Uber app. 

Other rideshare companies such as Lyft have also implemented similar safety features for riders. 

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