Starting from 18th June 2018, Uber will be introducing a new hour’s policy for driver-partners across Sub-Saharan Africa, including Uganda to help enhance driver and passenger safety.

The new feature on the app prompts drivers across the country to go offline for six straight hours after a total of 12 hours of driving time. Additionally, drivers who do not take long enough breaks will not be able to log into the app and take trips before that period expires.

Commenting on the app, Aaron Tindiseega Country Manager for Uber in Uganda, explains, “We want to promote safe and responsible use of the Uber app and this feature has tremendous potential to protect not only Uber driver-partners, but also their passengers and, ultimately, all road users. Driver-partners in Uganda are already driving responsibly but safety is one of our key pillars and we believe this new feature will be adding one more safety layer.”

Uber has features like an in-app notification that reminds drivers to take a break when feeling tired on the road and advises driver-partners with their Community Guidelines. The new driving hours policy is an additional feature that will help improve safety on the roads for all.

Driver-partners will be able to track the time they spend on Uber trips and will be reminded when they have reached their maximum time on the Uber app. It provides periodic notifications when drivers are approaching the 12-hour driving time limit and then will automatically go offline for six straight hours when their max has been reached, but drivers will be able to finish any trip they’re currently on. After the six hours, driving time resets and drivers can go online again to receive trip requests.  This will be a phased roll out and not all driver-partners will see this right away.

“Last month we rolled out this feature across South Africa.  Based on drivers feedback, the new feature is working well and has helped enhance driver and passenger safety. We are excited to roll this out across the rest of the region as this move will strengthen Uber’s approach to help keep riders and drivers safe on the road while preserving the flexibility drivers tell us they love,” adds Tindiseega.

To ensure drivers understand the rationale and the functionality of the feature, Uber has held training sessions with driver-partners across their Greenlight Hubs (support centres) and has announced the feature through podcasts which drivers can access in-app.

From this, drivers have expressed the need for information and education sessions which Uber has implemented, these include sessions which provides advice and examples such as how this will impact their businesses and how they can put together a responsible schedule for their small business.

“Drowsy driving is an issue for all who share the road and can cause many road accidents. Uber is constantly looking at new ways to use technology to contribute to safety in our communities wants to promote safe and responsible use of the app by helping prevent drowsy driving.” concluded Tindiseega.