Athens-Clarke Co. Police partner with Uber on location technology

Image 1 of 16

In an emergency, every second counts and having accurate location information is critical to making sure first responders can get to those in need as quickly as possible.

Police in Athens-Clarke County are the first in Georgia to partner with Uber to help.  In January, the department started using a system called Rapid SOS, which provides a more accurate location to emergency dispatchers when someone uses a cell phone to call 911. 

This month, they integrated the system with Uber's new safety features.  If someone dials 911 through the Uber app, it automatically provides dispatchers with not only a location but also a description of the vehicle they are in, as well as the car's license plate number. 

"Especially with people that are riding in Uber vehicles or any kind of rideshare vehicles, they may not be familiar with their exact location," said Capt. Keith Kelley with ACC Police.  "And they may not be familiar with the vehicle description, the full vehicle description that they're riding in." 

So far, Capt. Kelley said the Rapid SOS system has proven extremely valuable. 

"Everyone needs that in place," said Peggy Terry, who has driven for Uber for almost five years.  "Every person that gets in an Uber needs to have that button if they need it." 

Uber started rolling out the new safety features in April 2018.