Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Uber introduces rider mask verification selfie feature in India

Ride-hailing app Uber has today introduced a new safety policy known as ' mask verification feature' in India.

This new feature will request riders booking a ride in Uber,who have been tagged for not wearing masks on a previous trip, to take a selfie which shows them wearing a mask, to book their next trip.

Unlike for drivers, the rider app will only prompt a passenger to take a selfie if a driver previously reported they were not wearing a mask.

“We definitely wanted to make sure that we are targeting this feature to riders who are maybe just coming back to the platform and maybe they’re not aware of ... our (mask) policy," Sachin Kansal, Uber’s Senior Director of Product Management, said in an interview.

According to the company the mask verification feature was rolled out to the US and Canada by the end of September, and across Latin America and other countries after that. (As with the driver mask verification tool, this technology detects the mask as an object in the photo and does not process biometric information.)

Earlier this year, Uber built innovative technology designed to verify that drivers on the platform are wearing a mask while on-trip, by clicking a selfie.

Since Uber began mask verification selfies for drivers in May 2020, more than 17.44 million verifications have been carried out throughout India.

Speaking on the new policy, Pavan Vaish, Head of Supply & Driver Operations, Uber India SA, said, “At Uber, we believe accountability is a two-way street. Earlier this year, we designed innovative technology to ensure that drivers were wearing masks before accepting trips. Today,we’ve devised similar technology for riders who’ve previously been called out for not wearing a mask while on-trip. Our new policy raises the bar on safety and makes our platform safer not just for you, but for the next rider and driver as well."

Over the past few months, Uber has launched a comprehensive set of safety measures, such as the Go Online Checklist and a mandatory mask policy for riders, pre-trip mask verification selfies for drivers, and mandatory driver education around Covid-19 related safety protocols.

Riders and drivers can also cancel a trip, without penalty, if the other person isn’t wearing a mask.

Complementing these measures, Uber is distributing over 3 million masks and 200,000 bottles of disinfectants and sanitisers to drivers, free of cost.

*With inputs from agencies

Subscribe to Mint Newsletters
* Enter a valid email
* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our App Now!!

Edit Profile
Get alerts on WhatsApp
My ReadsRedeem a Gift CardLogout