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Uber rolling out an audio recording feature for drivers and riders in Kenya for safety


Uber is finally rolling out an in-app audio recording feature to users in Kenya. Uber first rolled out the feature in Europe in 2021 in what it said was to better support riders and drivers who report safety incidents to Uber.

The feature now seems to be rolling out to users locally according to a notification sent to the app. 

Uber says the feature will allow drivers and riders to record trip audio and share it with the Uber support team in the event of a safety incident.

Once riders and drivers enable this feature, they can choose to record audio by tapping the shield icon on the map screen and selecting “Record Audio.” Riders and drivers can choose to record individual trips, and drivers will also have the option to leave the feature on while they’re online. 

To help protect privacy, Uber says the audio file is encrypted and stored on the rider and driver’s devices—and by default no one can listen to the audio, including Uber. If either user submits a safety report to Uber, they can attach the audio file to their report. 

This is a very important feature considering driver and rider safety of ride-hailing apps has been at the center of discussion over the last few months.  

Recently ride-hailing service Bolt found itself on the wrong side of Kenyans after reports emerged that one of its drivers was involved in the kidnap of Ciku Muiruri’s daughter and her friend.

Bolt came out saying it worked with the authorities to ensure the culprits were apprehended. 

This development has raised an uproar among users or ride-hailing apps with users sharing their experiences with drivers with some insisting apps were not doing enough to protect their customers. 

Uber says it will be launching the audio recording feature to users in the country soon. 

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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