Ride-hailing app, Uber, has added a feature that will issue a six-hour break whenever one of its drivers works for 12 hours straight. The feature will apply to all active Uber drivers across the US. Once the six-hour break comes online, the driver will be unable to accept trips.
Uber’s latest announcement is an attempt to tackle the problem of driver fatigue and drowsy driving.
The feature will reportedly trigger when the driver has driven 12 hours without taking a continuous six-hour break at any point between. Uber said that hours spent online and driving will rack up to the 12-hour limit. This does not apply to time spent online but stopped, such as waiting for a ride at the airport. The company added that they will not track time drivers might spend offline on the app driving for another rival service.
According to Uber’s Head of Safety Product, Sachin Kansal, the company took into account a variety of factors to determine what does and doesn’t count as a user’s total driving time. They consulted with road safety organizations and relied on the company’s experience with drivers.
“There’s definitely a lot of third-party expertise that has gone into our thinking,” said Kansal. “But it’s also that we know how our driver drive, we know road conditions,”
The company’s US feature echoes a similar policy Uber introduced in the UK, which logs out drivers from the app after ten hours of activity.
Uber has currently capped driver hours in certain cities, including New York and Chicago. The company imposed the 12-hour limit on its New York drivers at the beginning of 2016, after media outlets reported that some drivers were driving for 19 hours straight.
According to Uber, the feature won’t impact most drivers on its platform, as 60 percent of them were reported to use the app a mere 10 hours per week.
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