Covid-19: Uber raises safety bar for the ‘new normal’ post pandemic

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on May 18, 2020 Published on May 18, 2020

Introduces new safety features in its App such as mandatory wearing of masks to equip riders and drivers

Your next Uber trip is going to get lot more safer as the ride hailing major launched a range of Covid-19 specific safety features and policies to be implemented through its App effective from Monday.

As lockdown restrictions get relaxed in several Indian cities, Uber India has now come up with a new product experience, which will help safeguard passengers everytime they use Uber.

“Starting Monday, both riders and drivers will see new features on its App such as Go Online Checklists; Mass verification; updated cancellation policy; new seat limits; accountability for all and Rideshare Health Safety Education,” said Sachin Kansal, Global Senior Director of Product Management at Uber, via a phone call.

It is also mandatory for both riders and passengers to wear a mask, a pre-trip mask verification selfies for drivers, and updated post-trip feedback mechanism and a cancellation policy.

Go Online Checklists

Before a driver can go online, they will be asked to confirm, via a new Go Online Checklist, that they’ve taken certain safety measures and are wearing a face mask. A similar checklist has been built for riders.

Before drivers are able to start accepting trips, they will be asked to take a selfie with a mask on. Uber’s new technology will verify the driver is wearing a mask.

We are adding new options for feedback including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask or face cover, according to the company.

Updated cancellation policy

Drivers and riders can cancel trips if they don’t feel safe, including if a user is not wearing a mask or face cover.

New seat limits

To allow for space between the driver and rider during an Uber ride, the company has advised riders not to sit in the front seat. Only two riders will be allowed in a car and will sit in the rear seat.

Rideshare Health Safety Education

Working with global and local public health authorities, the company has compiled safety tips and recommendations that will be sent to all riders and drivers.

Kansal said that Uber is moving fast to roll out these features in its App worldwide. “As we get into the new normal, we strongly believe that safety and health are paramount. Yes, it may be inconvenient to perform some of the steps like wearing masks, but in this transitional time we want to err on the side of safety and have caution on our minds. We are not saying this will last for ever, we will be constantly watching the situation on the ground and evolving our policies from there,” he said.

Published on May 18, 2020

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