Uber just formed a board to address growing safety concerns for its drivers

Travis KalanickWikimedia, CCUber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Uber announced Tuesday that it is creating a permanent global safety advisory boardin the wake of growing safety and security concerns for its drivers.

The ride-hailing service has faced a number of issues related to driver safety as it has expanded across the globe, and the six-member board will be tasked with addressing old and new issues dealing with safety as they arise.

“Throughout my careers as I’ve focused on tech security and safety, one of the things I’ve always known is you can’t do it alone, especially with emerging tech and the evolution of products going so quickly,” Joe Sullivan, Uber’s chief security officer, told the Los Angeles Times.

The LA Times reports that Uber’s new board is comprised of outside expertise including Ed Davis, former Boston Police Commissioner; Cindy Southworth, who is executive vice president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence; and former deputy executive director of the Texas Department of Transportation John Barton.

The formation of Uber’s global safety board follows a year when Uber drivers have been in the news. In June, Uber quietly banned passengers and drivers from carrying concealed weapons in a cab back after reviewing feedback of its previous policy, which deferred to local laws. In July, Uber settled with a San Francisco family who lost their six-year old daughter in an accident while crossing the street to an UberX driver who was logged into the app when the tragedy occurred. The ride-hailing app also faced mounting criticism concerning its driver background checks as reports of drivers sexually assaulting women have made headlines in India and around the world, including
a woman in Boston who claimed she was kidnapped and raped last December.

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