We all are aware of the first-of-its-kind safety report from Uber which stated that more than 3K people had been victims of sexual assault. These disturbing numbers included not only the passengers but drivers also. The kind-of-same thing happened with other rideshare apps – when 19 women sued Lyft, saying drivers for the company sexually assaulted them.
Uber is actively trying best to figure out ways that can prevent those types of occurrences. Meanwhile, a startup has already started working on an initiative that is going to make a big difference via helping passengers as well as drivers in the background.
Last week, the startup UrSafe rolled out a mobile app that uses a multi-directional approach to personal safety. The same has been launched on iOS as well as Android platforms. The multi-directional approach includes you reporting an event whether your phone is in your pocket or across the room.
How UrSafe Works
UrSafe uses advanced features to help and protect people who can be in potentially dangerous/assault situations. The app instantly video records the scenario, sends the user’s name and location to law enforcement agencies, and stores a streamed video of the incident on a designated receiver’s smartphone.
In emergencies, users will be able to access the app hands-free by calling out a predesignated safeword. The hands-free feature is programmed to the owner’s voice, so no one else will be able to access it. They can also hold down an SOS button on the app which will work the same.
UrSafe has partnered with more than 240 countries and territories and allows 911 centers to buy the app also. This will result in calls getting forwarded to the nearest emergency dispatch center rather than first bouncing the signal to wherever the caller’s area code is.
Founders and Other Contributors
Created by two medical professionals and an Air Force veteran, UrSafe ‘s goal is to protect its users in almost any assault situation.
Apart from Anthony Oyogoa (CEO and Co-FOunder), the contributors included some of the most amazing people who either fight against sexual assaults or have been a military sexual assault survivor who wishes to remain anonymous. Ruma Patel, a medical professional, is another co-founder along with Heath Phillips (a longtime advocate fighting sexual assault in the military) who provided great input from his end in the development process of UrSafe.
Official Statements From The UrSafe Team
“The personal safety space has largely been left untouched by innovators despite the fact that our internet-driven lifestyles require us to interact with and meet strangers more than ever,” “The app was meant to adapt to modern safety and security needs.”
“We really believe this technology is going to help de-escalate a lot of situations and hopefully prevent situations when bad actors realize they are sitting next to a person who has a safe app,” – Anthony Oyogoa, CEO and co-founder of UrSafe
“What I really love about the app is that it connects to people that are also on the app who are part of your connections,”. “Even if they can’t see the video, they’re still hearing it. With my case, there was a lot of he said, she said. There was no proof. With this app, there’s actual proof. And even if your phone is destroyed, it’s on other people’s phones.”
“He believes the app could’ve helped when he was attacked multiple times while serving in the Navy years ago.” – Navy veteran Heath Phillips
It’s good to see that people are coming together to fight against disturbing incidents like these with the help of technology. We hope that this initiative works as a storm and drastically reduce the number of cases that impact thousands of lives in unsaid words.
What Do You Think?
Do you also think that UrSafe is a great initiative? Is this just a start where technology will meet with game-changers to bring positive change in society?