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Uber launches teen accounts in Bloomington

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Posted at 5:09 PM, May 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-23 22:41:47-04

BLOOMINGTON, In. — Teens ages 13-17 can now create an Uber account with a parent's permission in Bloomington, the company announced.

A parent or guardian can invite their teen to create an account through the Family Profile in the Uber app. The teen will receive a link to download the app, create their account.

After they complete the mandatory safety onboarding process, teens can start requesting trips on their own.

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The company says they are prioritizing safety with the new addition.

“We’re thrilled to offer this innovative feature to families in more cities across the US, with key safety features built into the heart of the experience," Product Manager at Uber, Mariana Esteves said. "Whether their teen is getting a ride to an internship or heading home after soccer practice, parents will receive real-time notifications and can follow along with live trip tracking every step of the way. We’re committed to helping keep teens safe and getting families moving.”

According to Uber, they spent more than a year developing teen accounts and consulted with safety experts, like Safe Kids Worldwide, a global nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children from preventable injuries.

Uber says they began piloting teen accounts in late 2022 in Canada and in early 2023 in several cities across the US and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both families and drivers in the pilot cities.

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Uber says the following safety features are automatically enabled for teen accounts:

  • Live trip tracking: Parents will receive real-time updates whenever their teen requests a ride, including the driver’s name and vehicle information, and they can follow the trip’s progress live in their Uber app.
  • PIN Verification: Before a teen gets in the car, they’ll be prompted to give their driver a unique PIN. Drivers will not be able to start the trip until they enter the correct code into their app, providing an extra layer of protection to ensure teens get into the right car with the right driver.
  • RideCheck: Uber uses sensors and GPS data to detect if the ride goes off course, stops unexpectedly, or ends early. If something like this happens, the Uber app will message the teen and the driver to make sure they’re OK. RideCheck will be adjusted to be more sensitive during teens trips.
  • Audio Recording:This feature allows users to record audio of their trip directly through the app and saves files on the device, automatically encrypting them so that no one - not the driver, not the rider or parents, and not Uber - can listen back to the recording. 
  • Expanded communication: parents and guardians will be able to contact their teen’s driver at any time during a trip, as well as Uber’s safety line.
  • Only highly rated, experienced drivers: Only drivers who have passed local screening and background check requirements and are highly-rated and experienced will be able to receive trip requests from teen account holders. Drivers can choose to opt-out of receiving teen trips at any time. 

Uber says these features cannot be turned off by the teen, the driver, or the parent, so teens will always have access to them with the touch of a button.
Beginning today, riders in the Bloomington area will receive an email about this new offering.

Next week teens will be able to order food delivery through a specialized Uber Eats teen account.

You can learn more about how Uber teen accounts work and get answers to common questions on the teen accounts information page.