Your next Uber ride might be a little smoother as the ride-sharing service begins experimenting with monitoring drivers' safety on the road.
Uber's app for drivers be will updated with new features that use the sensors in a driver's phone to keep track of their acceleration and braking. The app will monitor harsh braking, which can be an indicator of unsafe driving like tailgating or simply losing concentration and failing to react early to changes in traffic. The app will also show the vehicle's speed to drivers, alerting them if they go above the legal limit.
The phone's gyroscope will also detect if a driver picks the phone off the dashboard instead of concentrating on driving. Speed data will be collected from the phone's GPS system, an example of telematics.
Daily reports will give drivers more detailed feedback about their actual driving than the system by which passengers rate each ride, which may be influenced by other factors as well. The new features are being tried out in 11 US cities. As yet there won't be negative consequences if the reports show poor driving.