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Uber’s ride services long have been available only to those 18 and older, but now, the company is testing a program that makes its services available to those as young as 13 — with their parents’ permission.

UberTeen service is being launched today on a test basis in Columbus, Phoenix and Seattle.

UberTeen is the result of a year of interviewing, development and testing, said Mike Lu, product manager at Uber who oversaw the creation of the new product.

“We did a ton of research, talked to a lot of parents, and heard over and over again about the challenges that families face,” Lu said.

“There are so many teens in activities, many students also have jobs, and parents have several children. Both parents may work, and then there are single parents who don’t have even a little bit of wiggle room.”

Providing transportation, therefore, becomes a huge issue, especially as more teens delay getting their driver’s license, he said.

UberTeen works by having parents invite their teens to join a family profile and create an Uber account designed specifically for teens.

Once the teen accepts the invitation and creates an account, they can get rides from experienced drivers who have received consistently high ratings from Uber riders.

Does this scare you our what? More amber alerts or will be assured that their kids will be safer?

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