The company said in a blog post it's introducing the time limit to "do our part to help prevent drowsy driving".
While almost 60 percent of USA drivers use Uber less than 10 hours a week, we want to do our part to help prevent drowsy driving.
Lyft has required drivers to take a six-hour break for every 14 hours spent in driver mode since January 2014. Uber's app will issue three warnings, starting after 10 hours of straight driving, before going offline and completely forcing drivers to stop and take rest. It will not reactivate to pick up fares until the mandatory six-hour rest period is over.
In some jurisdictions, which have existing driving time limits, the feature will be adjusted to meet local requirements. And the driver won't be allowed online again for six hours. The campaign was aimed at sleep-deprived office workers, rather than Uber drivers, who Uber encouraged to call a ride through its app instead of getting behind the wheel. Uber's legions of contractors have long alleged Uber stiffs them on compensation through shady business tactics, rate cuts and increasing commissions, forcing them to work continually longer hours.
According to Sachin Kansal, director of product management, about 60 percent of its drivers put in less than 10 hours a week.More news: Officer fired after refusing to shoot armed suspect settles lawsuit
The feature will count most driving time when it's calculating when a driver's 12 hour limit is up, it includes the time they spend at a light but doesn't include the time they spend waiting for a passenger in the airport parking lot.
According to Kansal, Uber's driver app will keep track of how long individuals have been on the road. Uber has historically taken a more hands-off approach with its independent-contractor drivers, telling them they can "be their own boss" and "set their own schedule".
Attempts by contractors to get more favourable treatment out of such companies have always been stifled in court.
Now that policy will be extending to USA drivers as well, according to VentureBeat. However, US Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley cautioned that legislators may want to address the "stark dichotomy" that could result from "the creation of a low wage workforce performing low skill but highly flexible episodic jobs".