Woman in Uber smiling

Photo via Uber

Uber now lets you use an intersection as a pickup location

The company hopes it will make users feel safer.

Apr 14, 2017, 2:10 pm

Tech

 

Christina Bonnington

In an effort to give Uber users an extra feeling of safety, the ride-hailing giant is rolling out a new capability in its app. U.S. users can now choose an intersection as their pickup location, rather than an exact address.

“Many riders have told us over time they prefer not to share any personal information when they Uber,” wrote Kate Parker, head of Uber’s Trust and Safety Initiatives, in a blog post. “Their feedback: it would help them feel safer and better protect their privacy if the address could remain private.”

To use the new feature, just type in the two street names where you’d like to get picked up—“Mission & 24th Street,” for example. If the cross streets aren’t showing up in the map, or if you don’t know what the street names are, you can input an address and then move the pin on the map before submitting your ride request. Pretty straightforward, and not all that different from the way the app worked before.

However, this move of goodwill toward users comes after a flood of bad publicity. In January, Uber users began deleting the app en masse after Uber appeared to thwart an anti-Trump protest of taxi drivers in New York City. More recently, a number of women have come forward to talk about sexism and harassment they experienced as employees at Uber. On top of that, someone recently caught CEO Travis Kalanick on video berating one of the company’s drivers. Amid all this, the Information reported this week that Uber had been spying on competitor Lyft in order to steal drivers (using a program nick-named “Hell,” no less).

In its blog post, Uber also reminds users of some of the other things the company does to keep your information private, such as anonymizing your phone number. Obscuring your exact pickup address is certainly in that regard. Hopefully it doesn’t lead to greater pickup location confusion, though.

H/T the Washington Post

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*First Published: Apr 14, 2017, 2:10 pm