Uber is leveraging its network of drivers in the US to help law enforcement track down abducted children. The app is partnering with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to issue AMBER alerts to its drivers — notifying them about public about children in danger in their nearby area. These time-sensitive alerts, which are also distributed via radio and television, have led to the recovery of 772 children since 1996. Uber previously piloted the system in Colorado earlier this year, and is now expanding it nationwide.
"Uber’s presence in communities all across the country will be an incredible asset."
"The AMBER Alert program’s success is built on the ability to reach the right people at the right time with these potentially life-saving messages," said NCMEC's direct of special programs, Robert Hoever, in a press statement. "Uber’s presence in communities all across the country will be an incredible asset and we are proud to team up with Uber to increase the reach of the AMBER Alert program and help bring more missing children home safely."
The NCMEC has previously partnered with navigation app Waze to send AMBER alerts to its drivers, notifying them of the model, make, and registration of a car in which an abducted child might be traveling. Waze said at the time that its drivers would only be shown the maximum of one alert per week, with the message only appearing if the car is at a standstill. Uber did not disclose any similar details about its implementation of alerts, but said that the program would be launching in more than 180 cities in the US starting today.