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Uber to allow Minnesota riders, drivers to text 911 via its app

The safety feature allows people to report emergencies during a ride-share journey.

Uber is rolling out a new safety feature allowing riders and drivers to alert the authorities if they're experiencing an emergency during a ride-share trip.

Minnesota Uber users are now able to text 911 from Uber's in-app emergency button as of Wednesday, with the 911 Assistance button found in the app's Safety Toolkit.

"In an emergency, every second counts. This new addition to the app will allow Uber users to reach out to 911 in situations where they may not be able to make a phone call,” said Sachin Kansal, Uber’s Head of Safety Products.

Minnesotans can already text 911 anywhere in the state using their smartphone's texting app.

But Uber's 911 feature cuts down the time a rider or driver needs to message the police because it automatically populates the text with key trip details, such as locations and vehicle information.

A sample auto-populated text would read:

"I am taking a trip with Uber. White Toyota Prius ABC1234. My Current location is 1562 Poblano Street. My intended destination is 1455 Market St. My emergency is..."

Minnesota has been chosen as one of the locations for the safety feature to be piloted, with the others in Los Angeles and Indiana.

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