WASHINGTON -- As costumed partiers head out on the town this Halloween, there's a new feature aimed at keeping users of ride-sharing apps safe.
Facing an emergency, Uber riders can now send their car's real-time location directly to the The District's 911 call center.
“For many years the biggest challenge in the 911 industry has been location accuracy," said Karima Holmes, Director of D.C.'s Office of Unified Communications. "Faster response with enhanced location services saves lives."
The new pilot program was announced Wednesday. The in-app emergency button, which went live in May, will notify operators of not only the car's location, but also the car make and model and its license plate number.
"The 911 call taker will see this potentially life-saving information through their existing software systems," said an Uber news release.
Preventing crime in cars has been a vexing issue for ride-sharing companies. In April, CNN analyzed court records found more than 100 Uber and Lyft drivers had been accused of sexually assaulting passengers over the last four years.
In February, WUSA9 got an exclusive look at Uber meetings kicking off a $5 million campaign to prevent sexual assault. It is still not clear how many riders and drivers have become victims of crimes since the company was founded nine years ago.
Every second counts in an emergency, and we want to make sure our users get help quickly with accurate information if faced with an emergency situation," said Nirveek De, Uber’s Safety Products Lead.