Uber has admitted to receiving more than 3,000 reports of sexual assaults between its drivers and its passengers in the US last year.
In its first ever safety report, the taxi-hailing company said that it had been told of 3,045 such incidents in 2018, including 235 rapes and 280 attempted rapes, as well as 1,560 instances of unwanted intimate touching.
It also reported 58 deaths from collisions, most of which involved pedestrians or cyclists, and 9 murders. It said that more than 40,000 drivers had been removed from the app because they had committed criminal offences.
The figures were only a tiny fraction of Uber’s 1.3bn rides in the US last year, representing just 0.0003pc of the whole. But the true figure may be higher, because a large majority of rapes and sexual assaults are never reported to the police and may therefore also not be reported to Uber.
They come as Uber fights to keep its operating licence in London after city officials ruled that it was not a “fit and proper” company, accusing it of a “pattern of failures” that “placed passengers and their safety at risk”.
According to Transport for London, a glitch in Uber’s identification system allowed 14,000 trips to be handled by unauthorised drivers masquerading as authorised ones, and in some cases by drivers who did not have taxi licences at all.