One of the biggest issues facing Uber passenger's safety is Uber drivers tendency to overwork and drive till they are exhausted. Some drivers will even take supplements to keep themselves alert and work for more than 12 hours a shift.
In response to the numbers presented by the National Sleep Foundation accompanies by statistics from Governors Highway Safety Association, approximately 6,000 crashes are caused by drowsy drivers. Uber has upgraded the driver app with a new feature, an automatic shut down after a 12-hour shift has been recorded. The new feature will send an alarm warning when the driver reaches 10 hours and a further warning at the 11th hour; it will then close the app on the 12th hour. Uber driver app will not open for the driver until 6 hours have passed from the shut-down time.
Uber's Director of Product Management, Sachin Kansal stated to the press that "We want to keep our riders and drivers safe. The approach we have taken is irrespective of who's responsible for managing this. We want to help the drivers manage that in the app, so they have all the visibility, so they know how much they can drive and when they need to go offline."
The feature is rigged to be cumulative which means that a six-hour rest period will determine whether the app shuts off or not. In this respect, when a driver drives for 7 hours and then rests for two, starting a new shift, the app will shut off after a further five hours. It will then wait the mandatory six hours that is prescribed as a safe rest period.
The reason why I decided that this was a mission impossible was due to the fact that many drivers will opt to work for Lyft or other services while waiting for the mandatory 6 hours to pass. This means that the only way this new feature will work is if Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, Amazon Flex and all the other apps join forces and link the hours of work in a national effort. This will not happen since none of these companies what the other to know about their drivers work schedules. That's part of the competition. So, end of the day, drivers that want to work till they drop will find a way to continue working even when not using the Uber app.