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Bowser Administration and Uber Launch 911 In-App Feature, Improving Emergency Responses for DC Ride-Sharing Passengers

Wednesday, October 31, 2018
New Technology Allows Passengers to Instantly Transmit Real-Time Location and Car Information to 911 Through Uber Emergency Button

(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of Unified Communications (OUC) and Uber announced the launch of a 911 integration pilot in the District of Columbia, allowing DC Uber passengers to utilize an in-app emergency button that will notify the Office of Unified Communications of an emergency and instantly share their real time location, car make/model, and license plate number with 911 call takers.

“For many years, the biggest challenge in the 911 industry has been location accuracy. A faster response with enhanced location services will save lives, and we are so grateful for partners like Uber who have stepped up to change the landscape. Mayor Bowser is committed to utilizing cutting-edge technologies to keep residents safe and continuing to raise the bar for emergency communications across the District.” said Karima Holmes, Director of the Office of Unified Communications.

Federal regulators estimate about 10,000 lives could be saved every year if first responders were able to get to a 911 caller just one minute faster. As a result, the Bowser Administration contracted RapidSOS to develop the technology used in this app, which will allows 911 call takers to receive vital information quickly, reducing the length of time between a call taker and a first responder being dispatched in an emergency situation.

“At Uber, we believe technology can help make the roads safer than ever before. Every second counts in an emergency, and we want to make sure our users get help quickly with accurate information if faced with an emergency situation," said Nirveek De, Uber’s Safety Products Lead.

Earlier this year, the Bowser Administration and Uber completed the state-of-the-art Greenlight Hub in the East River Park Shopping Center in Ward 7, which will result in the creation of full-time jobs, millions of dollars in investment into the community, and access to support services for Uber drivers and UberEATS couriers.