Uber Technologies Inc said it received over 3,000 reports of sexual assault related to its 1.3 billion rides in the United States last year, as part of the company's Safety Report.
The figure represents a 16% fall in the rate of incidents from the previous year in the five most serious categories of sexual assault reported, Uber said on Thursday.
Uber’s US Safety Report includes information about Uber’s actions on safety, as well as data on the most serious safety incidents reported on its ridesharing platform in 2017 and 2018. This includes traffic fatalities, fatal physical assaults and sexual assault.
The firm also said reports of assaults on passengers overlooked risks for drivers as riders accounted for roughly half of the accused.
The report comes almost two weeks after Uber said it would appeal the loss of its license to carry passengers in London over a “pattern of failures” on safety and security.
Last year, Uber committed to releasing a safety report in a sign of a cultural turnaround under its new CEO.
In the report, Uber said 99.9% of its 2.3 billion U.S. trips in 2017 and 2018 ended without safety incidents.
It said it received 235 reports of “non-consensual sexual penetration” last year and 280 of “attempted non-consensual sexual penetration” - nearly all filed by women. The remaining assault reports included incidents of unwanted kissing or touching of body parts.
It also detailed 10 fatal physical assaults in 2017 and nine in 2018 - eight victims were riders, seven were drivers using Uber’s app, and four were third parties such as bystanders.
"We’re constantly pushing to do more on safety. We’re rolling out new features that allow riders to verify their driver with a secure PIN code, send a text message directly to 911 operators, and report safety incidents to Uber before their trip is even over, "Uber said.
In some countries, the comapny is testing a feature to give drivers and riders the option to securely record audio during their trip as a safety precaution. Uber is also committed to sharing the names of drivers who have been banned from its platform for the most serious safety incidents with its ridesharing peers.
Uber is also teaming up with RALIANCE, a national partnership dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation, to establish RALIANCE Business: a new resource center that will be dedicated to helping public and private sector leaders adopt consistent, evidence-based standards and strategies to improve how they measure, respond to, and prevent sexual violence that may occur in the workplace or within business operations.
Rival Lyft said it was committed to releasing its own safety report and sharing information on unsafe drivers.
Uber said it puts drivers through a vigorous background check before accepting them onto its platform. In its report, it said one million drivers failed to pass the screening test in 2017 and 2018 and more than 40,000 were removed from the app after extra screening layers.