Lyft passengers will be able to dial 911 directly from the ride-sharing company's smartphone application. The company said Tuesday the in-app emergency service contact is one of several ways it aims to boost rider safety.
Using the 911 feature within the Lyft app provides a police dispatcher crucial information such as exact location and the vehicle's make, model, and license plate information automatically. Dialing 911 through a phone's conventional interface won't provide that information automatically.
While the 911 call button is perhaps the biggest addition, Lyft shored up a few other areas where it will focus on safety.
The app now prominently display a Lyft driver's license plate number for riders to make sure they get into the correct vehicle. The updated version, which is now available in Apple and Android app stores, will show the type of vehicle, driver's name, and the license plate number. Lyft even throws in a reminder for riders to reference the plate number once a vehicle pulls up to help riders make sure they don't enter a stranger's vehicle by accident.
Additionally, Lyft will now mandate riders and drivers give feedback for a less-than-perfect ride. If either party rates the other fewer than four stars, Lyft will require he or she explain the reason why they rated so low.