Uber's first safety review contains thousands of sexual assault reports


Uber operates in about 70 countries and said that it would use what it had learned in producing the USA report for its "next steps" in other places, although it did not commit to creating new reports. Despite the increase in raw numbers, Uber saw a 16% decrease in the average incident rate, which it suggests may correlate with the company's increased focus on safety as of late.

Sexual misconduct education for all drivers: In 2020, Uber will expand sexual misconduct and assault education to all United States drivers.

Back in 2017, Uber said that 2,936 passengers reported incidents of sexual assault while using the taxiing service. Riders make up 45 percent of accused parties.

The report comes amid criticism of ride-share companies over the past few years, including issues involving sexual assault.

Besides using data from 2017 and 2018, Uber said incidents resolved on or before October 31, 2019, were also included in the report.

Another safety report is scheduled to come out in two years, the company stated. Out of the reported sexual assault allegations, Uber said it categorized the incidents into 21 separate parts - including unsolicited kissing and groping. The Uber-related motor vehicle fatality rate for 2017 was 0.59 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles travelled; it was 0.57 fatalities per 100 million miles travelled in 2018. Sexual assaults commonly go unreported.

The report also included the number of fatal auto crashes during the trips - 49 in 2017, and 58 in 2018. According to Uber, approximately 90% of Uber-related fatal crashes occurred in urban areas. Baker says she has urged other companies in the hospitality and transportation industries in the U.S.to follow suit.

On Thursday, Uber said it would regularly share data with Lyft and other companies about drivers accused of serious safety lapses and continue publishing safety reports every two years.

"The public responses to this transparency report or similar public reporting of safety incidents claimed to have occurred on our platform ... may result in negative media coverage and increased regulatory scrutiny and could adversely affect our reputation with platform users", the company says in the filing.

According to the report, Uber is continuing to develop additional features to ensure both the rider and driver have an enjoyable and safe experience, including a verification PIN code, a feature to send a text message directly to 911 operators and reporting incidents to the company before the trip ends.

Whilst that sounds pretty harrowing at face value, 1.3 billion rides were taken in the USA last year, which means that the number of unsafe incidents makes up just 0.0002 percent of total rides. In 2017, a woman who was raped by her Uber driver in India filed a lawsuit against the company for violating her privacy.

Uber has faced a steady stream of complaints in court across the country over driver misconduct, and Lyft has recently seen an explosion in legal claims by passengers.

Uber is partnering with RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization on a pair of new initiatives scheduled to debut next year.

Aside from sexual assaults, Uber also disclosed data on fatal crashes and assaults.