Today we have a sponsored guest post from Seam Technic, which is a safety app that helps you stay safe by recording your vehicle interior and sharing your location with loved ones while you drive. Not everyone can afford a dash cam so this is a great alternative – it’s free to download and use, but you can upgrade to a premium version that allows you to store your recordings (30-days) and download copies for your records.
Ever have a passenger threaten to “get you fired” from Uber because you wouldn’t give them and their 8 drunk friends a ride in your 4-seat car?
How about a passenger who tells Uber or Lyft they didn’t throw up in your car?
More unsettling stories, such as an Australian Uber driver assaulted by a passenger for refusing to make a stop at McDonald’s or earlier this year in Texas where an Uber driver was robbed at gunpoint, have set drivers’ radar on high. And we’ve all seen the infamous dash cam footage of the Taco Bell employee assaulting an Uber driver unprovoked.
Deactivated Until Proven Innocent
It’s not just physical safety from belligerent passengers that drivers have to worry about. Rideshare companies often heavily favor pleasing passengers so they’ll continue to spend money on their platform, and this results in a “deactivate first” and ask questions later mentality.
There are examples everywhere of drivers who have been deactivated because a passenger simply claimed the car smelled of alcohol or marijuana, often as a result of a smell left by an earlier passenger. Although this might make sense from a safety standpoint, it also often leaves drivers unable to drive for a day (or even longer), often on a weekend as they’re driving for a Quest or Power Driver bonus. It’s important to use a dashcam or a free app like Seam so you will have the evidence to protect yourself.
These stories are hardly isolated incidents, yet Uber and Lyft aren’t offering much to keep drivers safe. With drivers categorized as independent contractors and not employees, they assume the risk while the companies rake in the profit.
What Does Seam Do To Protect Drivers?
Seam’s personal safety platform does more than just GPS tracking. The free app records full-streaming audio, takes photos of your interior, and offers easy connections to emergency contacts, along with Google Assistant integration for hands-free operation. These “journeys” can be shared real-time with your trusted contacts, so that your friend also has your back.
Safety is a chief concern among rideshare drivers, especially women. That sentiment is so strong that an entrepreneur named Aisha Addo recently started her own women-only ridesharing app, DriveHer.
When a rideshare driver who used the Seam app contacted us, we realized what a great fit Seam was for drivers. After all, drivers and passengers have to put a lot of trust in one another and while most rides go smoothly, peace of mind goes a long way.
Seam pairs photos with audio and GPS information. To give a simple example, if a drunken passenger claims they didn’t throw up in your car, the detailed information from Seam can strengthen your case with Uber, so you can recoup cleaning costs without a lot of back and forth with support.
As more and more rideshare drivers invest in dash cams to record the backseat happenings of their riders, Seam is a natural (and low cost) fit that doesn’t require purchasing a camera and adding yet another item + wiring + using a charging port in your car.
Legally Recording Passengers
We strongly encourage all drivers to post a notice that, to protect both the driver and passenger, the audio and video is being recorded by the Seam app. Don’t use the app surreptitiously, letting passengers know beforehand can help mitigate a passenger’s negative impulses. Read up on federal and local state laws about recording in the U.S.
In fact, depending on what state you live in, you may be required by law to post a notice of recording audio in your car. This is often addressed by posting stickers or signage informing the passenger that audio and video are being recorded.
Data Privacy + How Seam Makes Money
Seam takes data privacy very seriously and has committed to not selling, renting, sharing, or trading your data. Seam makes its money by running a premium subscription model, and part of making that subscription worth the money is making sure all of that data is private, secure, and only accessible to those you deem worthy of seeing it.
The premium SeamPlus app goes even further, allowing drivers to save journey logs up to 3 months — and includes a downloadable, rendered timeline including audio and images.
For readers of Rideshare Guy, we’re offering SeamPlus free for 3 months. We truly believe that this technology can help keep you safer.
Email us today at email@example.com with the email address you’ll use to login to Seam and we’ll hook you up with 3 months of SeamPlus as well as our rideshare driver’s kit, which includes a sticker notifying passengers that you’re all protected with Seam, and an air freshener to keep your rig smelling fresh.
Drivers, what do you think of an app that lets you record from your phone?
-Christian @ RSG