What you need to know
- Uber is pushing new safety features to India
- The features include Ride Check, which detects unexpected stops or irregularities in a ride.
- It will also bring four-digit code authentication and audio recording.
Uber is bringing several new safety features to drivers and riders in India.
As reported by TechCrunch, three new safety features are rolling out in India:
The new features include an intervention from Uber when there is a long unplanned stop in a ride, and the introduction of a four-digit authentication code to ensure a passenger is getting in the right cab. Both the features are rolling out to users starting today, company executives said at a press event in New Delhi.
Uber has previously rolled out these features in the U.S., and Ola, its local rival in India, has also offered these functionalities for a long time. Uber said it will also allow riders and drivers in India to record their entire trip if they are feeling uncomfortable and send it to the company. This feature, Uber said, will be in the testing phase in the country later this year. (Ola does not offer this feature, but local bus ride sharing service Shuttl has tested this in the past.)
As TechCrunch notes, Ride Check was launched in the US in 2018. Ride Check detects unexpected stops or irregularities in the right, notifying both driver and rider, and giving both the option to notify Uber that all is well, or otherwise. PIN authentication began testing in the US last September. According to a tweet from Uber, PIN authentication is now being rolled out fully in the US and Canada. It means that a rider will receive a unique 4 digit pin for their ride in-app, which the rider shares with the driver on entering the car. It's only upon entering the right PIN that the ride begins.
Audio recording will be tested in India later this year. It will allow both drivers and riders to record their entire trip if they feel uncomfortable for any reason and send the recording to Uber.
In India specifically, Uber has also partnered with the Manas Foundation to conduct thousands of customized gender sensitization workshops for driver-partners in India, in order to make the platform safer for women. According to Uber, 50,000 drivers have already been trained. Uber's Senior Director of Global Safety Products said:
"Privacy is incredibly important for Uber and all these tools are designed keeping that in mind. We will continue to refine these technologies so we can help make every ride a 5-star experience for all."