Uber brings ‘911 Integration’ program to Pinellas County


Ridesharing company Uber announced Wednesday that Pinellas County is now part of a pilot program to help emergency services respond more quickly to rider emergencies.

Currently, Uber said, if a rider hits the “emergency button” in the app during their trip, their location data and the make, model and license plate number of the car they’re in pops up on the screen so they can relay that information to a 911 dispatcher.

The “911 Integration” pilot program removes a step by automatically transmitting that information to the dispatcher.

While dispatchers have the technology to triangulate calls from cell phones to get a general idea of a caller’s location, that takes time, and Uber’s integration program helps out by getting that data in front of the dispatcher more quickly — the company cited estimates from federal regulators indicating that about 10,000 lives could be saved every year if first responders were able to get to a 911 caller just one minute faster.

“At Uber, we believe technology can help make the roads safer than ever before. Every second counts in an emergency, and we want to make sure our users get help quickly with accurate information if faced with an emergency situation,” said Nirveek De, the company’s safety products lead.

The pilot is one of a number of safety initiatives announced by Uber this year, including the addition of a “Safety Center” portion of the app that informs users about key safety information.

Pinellas County joins a handful of cities nationwide, including Naples, where Uber has been testing out the 911 integration program since May.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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