April 18, 2019 / 4:01 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Uber unveils safety measures after college student's murder

(Adds details from Uber blog)

April 18 (Reuters) - Uber Technologies Inc IPO-UBER.N said it was rolling out new safety features to help riders avoid fake rideshare drivers, two weeks after the murder of a college student who got into her killer's car mistakenly believing it was her ride.

The features include steps to identify the right car and a push notification to remind riders of the "Check Your Ride" steps just before their car arrives, the ride-hailing company said in a blog on Thursday.

The features will go live in Columbia and South Carolina on Thursday and will roll out across the United States within few days.

The 21-year old victim Samantha Josephson was a South Carolina university student.

Uber had in July 2017 launched a public awareness campaign against scams and how riders can avoid getting into the wrong car, suggesting that they check the app to ensure that the car matches the one that they booked.

The company is also planning to launch a new tool for universities to provide service for students at odd hours when other options are limited. The pilot program will start with the University of South Carolina, while other universities can get themselves enrolled.

"We're also launching an awareness campaign on social media, and we’re placing ads in college newspapers and on billboards near entertainment districts across the country to educate students about these steps," Uber said. (Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and James Emmanuel)

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