Uber rolls out teen accounts in California with added safety features – NBC Bay Area

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All parents need a little help with carpool pickup and dropoff from time to time, and starting Thursday in California, Uber will be an option for teens.

The ride-hailing giant is rolling out teen accounts linked with a parent’s or guardian’s account that have standard safety features plus added security just for teens.

NBC Bay Area asked a teen, a parent, a teacher and an Uber executive to weigh in:

Teen: “I feel like you could ride by yourself, and if your parents have your location, I think it’s good.”

Parent: “I wouldn’t think that it’s OK, not for my girls. And if they’re stopped too long, I’d freak out.”

Teacher: “I just don’t think the safety of the children is being considered at all.”

Sachin Kansal, Uber vice president, product management: “When parents ask me, ‘Hey, should you be putting a 14-year-old or a 15-year-old in a car by themselves with a stranger?’ I say yes!Because of all of the safety features we’ve built into the platform.”

When a teen requests an Uber, the parent or guardian will get a notification and will be able to track the car in real-time.
Only the highest-rated, most experienced drivers are allowed to accept teen requests, and Uber does annual background checks on all drivers.

Teens will get a PIN that they’ll have to provide to the driver in order to make sure they’re getting into the right car. And there will be an audio recording of all rides, encrypted for their privacy but available in case the teen or parent needs to file a report of any kind.

California’s the last state to allow Uber to launch the teen app, and it’s been running in some U.S. cities since the beginning of 2023 with no trouble, Kansal says.

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