Uber announced today to use Uber drivers smartphones to spy on their driving behavior.
Uber is using the gyroscope in smartphones to identify speeding Uber drivers. Joe Sullivan, Uber's Chief Security Officer revealed that today that the company has been running a pilot program to spy on Uber drivers.
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Sullivan says: "We care a lot about feedback from both riders and drivers, especially when it comes to safety. It’s why we insist that people in the driver’s seat rate their passengers after each ride, and vice versa. If the rating is low, we ask why. It might be that a driver is unhappy about an unruly rider. Or a rider is worried that her driver was going too fast. Either way, we need to check what actually happened. Mostly it’s about talking to both sides. But increasingly technology can help get to the truth."
Gyro meters in smartphones can measure small movements, while GPS and accelerometers show how often a vehicle starts and stops, as well as its overall speed. If an Uber rider complains that a driver accelerated too fast and broke too hard, Uber can review that trip using data. If the feedback is accurate, then Uber can get in touch with the driver. And if it’s not, Uber could use the information to make sure a driver’s rating isn’t affected.
Uber can use this technology to determine for instance that the average South Florida Uber driver goes 50mph and take 50 minutes to drive from Miami to Fort Lauderdale. For drivers who go much faster on that stretch, Uber can ask them to "curb their enthusiasm," says Sullivan.
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Uber says that road safety is a critically important issue for the company.