Uber adds panic button that allows passengers to call 911 from within the app

Uber has added a panic button that allows riders to call 911 from within its app, The Verge reports.

The emergency button is located in a new "safety center" menu that is accessible from the app's home screen. To call 911, riders can swipe up and then tap "911 Assistance."

They will then be asked to confirm they meant to dial 911 before the call is put through to emergency dispatchers. The final step is in hopes of minimizing accidental dials.

“We realize that a lot of situations and a lot of criminal activity arises when people think they’re not being watched,” said Sachin Kansal, Uber's director of product management. “And we just want to say that we’re turning the lights on. Part of turning the lights on is providing these features to both sides and also make sure we’re making the entire community aware of the presence of these features.”

Uber hopes to improve customer safety with the addition of the new feature.