Uber Wants To Track Its Drivers’ Behavior

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/TED S. WARREN/FILE
CREDIT: AP PHOTO/TED S. WARREN/FILE

Uber is going to start track drivers’ behavior in the name of public safety.

The company is testing a software update to its driver app that would monitor driving tendencies such as speeding, braking hard, or turning corners too fast, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Uber contends the new update will help drivers give riders a better experience. The beta update, which launches July 1, will score drivers on acceleration and braking habits, mapping the location of each data-driven infraction. Some versions of the update will also include sensors to detect whether the drivers manipulated their phones during a ride, presumptively as an indicator of distracted driving.

The driver app updates were part of Uber’s bigger safety feature roll out, including break reminders for drivers. The safety push also focuses on the app’s usefulness in preventing drunken driving ahead of the Fourth of July weekend, aiming to address public safety concerns. And drivers will be able to compare their performance with others in the area through daily reports.

The Uber Revolution Hinges On One Key QuestionEconomy by CREDIT: AP Photo/John Locher Lyft drivers have been shorted about $126 million in pay over the past four…thinkprogress.orgBut the move also raises some privacy and workers’ rights concerns for drivers, who may take issue with the company overseeing their behavior without giving them better job protections.

Earlier this year, Uber drivers banded together with those from competitor Lyft to sue for approximately $730 million in wage theft due to improperly classifying them as independent contractors instead of employees. The company settled a similar lawsuit for up to $100 million in back wages but refused to classify drivers as employees.

Uber’s decision to track drivers comes as welcome movement for critics of the company’s lack of attention to rider safety, but it doesn’t address concerns over driver attacks on passengers. The company has been repeatedly lambasted for hiring drivers prone to violence and discriminatory behavior, and is now facing a lawsuit regarding the reported sexual assaults of two women.