Uber wants to start tracking its drivers. The company has developed technology that would know when drivers cut corners, brake harshly, or speed using sensors in their smartphones.
The software is rolling out to select cities for a test phase this week. Uber believes the tech will help drivers understand when why they get rated poorly by customers, but concerns are already being raised about driver privacy.
One important note is that Uber drivers are classified by the company as independent contractors, not employees—and this level of privacy invasion would be controversial even at an employee level. Regardless, the technology will be implemented for drivers this Friday in several cities, including New York and Chicago.
Uber claims the chief purpose of monitoring drivers at this level is to guide drivers to becoming better at their jobs. Collecting this data, the company argues, offers more detailed feedback than simple star-based ratings.
One benefit to drivers is that it could protect then from customers who file false complaints about rides by allowing Uber to look at objective statistics to determine who was in the wrong.