New Delhi, March 14: Nowadays, both consumer safety and rider safety is very important in the transport service sector. Therefore cab aggregator platform Uber announced the launch of its ‘Real-Time ID Check’ for its drivers before commencing on rides on Tuesday.
Uber said that the drivers would be required to take selfies with the Uber app and will use Microsoft’s Cognitive Services to compare drivers’ photos with the ones in the company’s database. If the two photos do not match, the account will be temporarily blocked, while the company will look into the matter. The feature is being launched in five cities in India that is in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata and more locations will follow later.
Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer, Uber said, “Real-Time ID Check prompts drivers to share a selfie before going online to help ensure the driver using the app matches the account we have on file. This prevents fraud and protects drivers’ accounts from being compromised. It also protects riders by building another layer of accountability into the app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel.”
Uber also named five initiatives for making India safer to rides:
1. Trips are no longer anonymous: Uber said that when a driver accepts a request, his or her first name, photo, license plate number, and rating will be shown to the person being picked up. In addition, the driver can see the first name and rating of the passenger. Drivers and riders can contact each other through the app if there is any confusion around pick-up details.
2. Driver partners are verified: Uber said that it has a zero tolerance policy toward any abusive behaviour on its platform. In addition, the company said they were equally conscious about recruiting driver partners with valid documents, after a comprehensive background check and a mandatory soft skill training that enables them to offer riders a great experience.
3. Never get lost: When riders enter their destination into their app, drivers will automatically receive turn-by-turn directions (navigation) on their app throughout the trip — making the ride more comfortable for both parties. Riders can also see their route live on a map in the app so they always know where they are and if they are on the right route.
4. Share my journey: “Riders can easily share their ride details, including the specific route and estimated time of arrival, with friends or family for extra peace of mind. They’ll receive a link where they can see in real time the name and photo of the driver, the vehicle, and the trip route live on the map until the final destination is reached — and they can do all of this without having to download the Uber app themselves,” the company said.
5. SOS Function: The SOS function, now known as the ‘EMERGENCY’ button introduced by Uber would enable riders to directly connect with the police control room and an internal response team at Uber as well, the company said.
Notably, Uber has 4 lakh driver partners registered on its platform and operates in 29 cities in India. However, the feature is already being rolled out in other markets like South Africa, Egypt, Russia, Bahrain, the UAE, Qatar, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam.