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  • At least 3,000 sexual assaults, including rape, took place during Uber trips in the U.S. in 2018.

    At least 3,000 sexual assaults, including rape, took place during Uber trips in the U.S. in 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 December 2019
Opinion

Uber is under pressure from regulators in several countries because of a “pattern of failures” on safety.

Multinational ride-hailing company Uber Technologies released Thursday a first-ever safety report related to its trips in the United States in 2018. 

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The report reveals that more than 3,000 sexual assaults, including rape, took place during Uber trips, at a time when it carried out about 1.3 billion rides.

The company also said that nine people were murdered during its rides, while 58 others were killed in auto-related crashes.

Sexual assault and other safety and security threats have been a huge concern for the fast-growing ride-services industry around the world, and the report comes as Uber is under pressure from regulators in several cities over a “pattern of failures” on these issues.

Uber operates in about 70 countries and said that it would use what it had learned in conducting this report for its “next steps” in other places, however, it did not commit to producing other reports.

The ride-hailing firm said the 84-page report showed its commitment to transparency with the goal of driving “accountability and improve safety for Uber and the entire industry, claiming that 99.9 percent of all of its 2.3 billion U.S. trips in 2017 and 2018 ended without any safety incidents.

On the other hand, Uber said that other reports of assaults on passengers dismissed the risks for drivers. 

“The data [...] may challenge assumptions. For example, while media coverage of the issue of sexual assault-related to Uber has almost entirely portrayed drivers as the alleged offenders, our data shows that drivers report assaults at roughly the same rate as riders across the 5 most serious categories of sexual assault. Drivers are victims, too.”

Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi in tweets said his company would be better off for publishing the data.

“I suspect many people will be surprised at how rare these incidents are; others will understandably think they’re still too common. Some people will appreciate how much we’ve done on safety; others will say we have more work to do. They will all be right,” Khosrowshahi wrote.

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