Uber is using phone gyrometers to check if drivers are speeding or accelerating too hard

Author

Owen Williams

January 26, 2016

This article originally appeared on The Next Web

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It was only a matter of time until Uber tapped into the wealth of sensors available within smartphones to keep tabs on drivers, and today it’s confirmed that it’s testing exactly that.

The company has announced today that it’s running a pilot program that leverages smartphone gyrometers to detect if drivers are speeding, along with how hard they accelerate.

The idea is if a user submits feedback that the driver had done any of these things, the company can review the gyrometer data to see if it’s true, ensuring that the rider wasn’t complaining about nothing — that way, the driver’s rating isn’t affected if it’s untrue.

The company is also hoping to use the data more widely in the future, such as to determine if drivers are moving their phones around too much or detect when drivers go too fast on a particular route.

Uber using driver gyrometer data is an interesting test, however it raises questions about whether or not the drivers actually know it’s happening. The post doesn’t mention if the test pilot is opt-in, or if drivers have a choice about whether the data is collected — we’ve reached out for clarification about this point.

That said, using the gyrometer is a great way to get specific data on drivers that aren’t keeping to the law and could be potentially endangering riders. It also means complaints can be backed up by real world evidence for the first time.

Curb Your Enthusiasm [Uber Newsroom]

This article was written by Owen Williams from The Next Web and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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