The popular ride-hailing service Uber has launched a new in-app safety feature in Los Angeles that gives riders and drivers the option to record audio during a trip.

The safety feature was launched in Latin America in 2019 and is currently available in about 150 cities in the U.S., with Los Angeles one of the newest metropolitan areas to receive the functionality.

The new features can be launched in the Safety Toolkit section of the Uber app when in L.A. The audio recording is encrypted, private and no one, not even Uber, can listen to it unless a rider submits a safety report that includes the audio file.

Both riders and drivers will receive in-app notifications prior to starting a trip if the feature is enabled, letting both parties know the trip may be recorded. Parties will not be notified if either starts a recording.

Both the Uber driver and rider will be informed of the possibility of being recorded as part of a new safety feature launched by the ride-hailing service. (Uber)

“By giving riders and drivers the option to initiate audio recordings before or during a trip, this latest feature can help encourage safe and comfortable interactions, and add an additional layer of safety to trips taken on the platform,” Uber said in a news release.

The recording can be stopped at any point during a trip and recordings will automatically stop shortly after a trip is completed.

Sachin Kansal, Vice President of Product at Uber, said the company is always looking for technology improvements that improve safety of its product.

“We’ve heard from users that this audio recording feature helps them feel safer while on trips, and we are pleased to continue to expand the feature,” Kansal said. “It is our hope that this feature can continue to help give riders and drivers peace of mind while on trips.”

Some Uber customers should have the functionality right now, with the rest of the L.A market receiving the ability to record in the coming “days and weeks,” Uber said.

For more information about the new feature, including instructions on how to use it, click here.