Uber drivers in South Africa get emergency app

Uber has announced a partnership in South Africa which will see its Uber and Uber Eats drivers and delivery partners gain access to an app that connects them to the closest private emergency response vehicles from a nationwide network of security or medical response partners. The app will be provided by Aura and it will be "operated through the Aura mobile app" according to Uber.

It's important to note that the app will not be available publicly and will be restricted for Uber's drivers and delivery partners in South Africa only.

“Uber is committed to improving and introducing new and relevant technologies through our app. We also look to work with leaders in the safety and security sector which has made partnering with Aura the perfect fit, as they have the technology and expertise to integrate and implement a seamless security infrastructure for drivers and delivery partners,” said Alon Lits, General Manager at Uber Sub-Saharan Africa.

With the Aura app that combines what they call their "smart technology" and GPS, Uber drivers and delivery-partners in South Africa will no longer need to call a security or emergency response number but rather will be able to push a mobile emergency button which will enable Aura to dispatch a geo-specific security or medical response partner within minutes to them.

“The new introduction of our technology builds on Uber’s philosophy, and has helped evolve security by offering smart technology that cuts out the middleman, enabling driver-partners to connect with the closest security or medical response partner at the touch of a button,” said Warren Myers, CEO at Aura.

The app is backed up by Aura’s control room, so South African Police Service and Emergency Medical Service can be dispatched to the scene if required. The identity of the person making the call automatically appears on the system as well, so all security or medical response part always have key information on hand.

The announcement comes not so long after another ride hailing platform operating in South Africa, also announced plans to incorporate an emergency button for drivers within their app.

Uber South Africa has indicated that the app be rolled out in a phased approach, and not all drivers and delivery partners will have access to the Aura app immediately.

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