In a first for Georgia, the Athens Police Department and Uber team up.

The Athens-Clarke County Police Department is partnering with UBER to utilize location monitoring technology to help 911 function. The Athens Police are the first law enforcement agency in the state of Georgia to have an Uber integration system with the 911 service in their jurisdiction.

Uber emergency button

As related by WUGA https://www.wuga.org/, Captain Keith Kelley is the head Central Communications Bureau for ACCPD. He credits this new program with improved 911 response. The way the system is designed to work, if a rider or a operator uses Uber’s in-app emergency button to get into contact with 911 operators, key trip details can be transmitted in an emergency essentially automatically so that 911 dispatchers in Athens-Clarke County can relay this information to responding officers in real time.

Captain Kelly says, “If you’re in an Uber vehicle and you press the emergency button on your Uber App, it will dial 911 and through RapidSOS it will give us your location,”. He claims the technology also provides authorities with “…..the vehicle make, model and tag number that you’re riding in.”

Everybody that rides in an Uber needs to keep the app open so they can access that emergency button to call 911 and transmit their location and ride data instantaneously.

911 Operations Coordinator J. Jones demonstrating the new system

“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.” 

“Every second counts in an emergency, and we want to make sure Uber users have important information to get help quickly if faced with an emergency situation,” Krishnaja Gutta, Uber Product Safety Manager said.

11 Alive TV in Atlanta reported on this development. You can view their story via the link here > 11alive.com/athens/uber-riders-can-now-call-911-through-app

The Uber integration with the ACCPD 911 system relies on another partnership the ACCPD has with RapidSOS. RapidSOS is an emergency communications technology company.

“Through RapidSOS, Central Communications has access to the NG911 Clearinghouse which receives data from the Internet of Things (smartphones, connected cars, wearables, and connected homes) and securely sends the relevant data to 911 and first responders,” an ACCPD official statement claims.

This feature is already available in more than 60 cities, Krishnaja Gutta, Uber Product Safety Manager, said. She also added that Uber believes technology can and help overall road safety for motorists and their customers.

“Location is key, location is everything to us, we may know what’s occurring, but without the location we wouldn’t know where to send resources”, according to Captain Kelly.

This new technology offers real promise to add and extra level of detail to assist rescue personnel including police in the event of an emergency. It is good to see ACCPD work together with Uber to make this improvement. More safety features are a welcome addition to Uber’s ride share service.