Uber introduces 'mask verification selfie' for riders in India

(Image credit: Uber)

Uber has unveiled a new safety policy for those hailing vehicles in its ambit, by which riders, who have been mentioned for not wearing masks on a previous trip, will have to put out a selfie that shows them wearing a mask. Only after this, they will be allowed to book their next trip.

Uber, it may be recalled, had earlier this year, made it mandatory for drivers to put a selfie with their masks on while on trip.

The new feature, quite obviously, aims to ensure that feedback received from drivers can help make the platform safer for the next user.

Since it unveiled mask verification selfie for drivers in May 2020, more than 17.44 million verifications have been carried out all across the country.

Uber has distributed over three million masks and 200,000 bottles of disinfectants and sanitisers to drivers, free of cost.

Uber and safety

As per Uber's current safety policy, riders and drivers can cancel a trip, without penalty, if the other person is not wearing a mask.

"At Uber, we believe accountability is a two-way street. Earlier this year, we designed innovative technology to ensure that drivers were actually wearing masks before accepting trips," Pavan Vaish, Head of Supply & Driver Operations, Uber India and South Asia, said in a statement.

"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," he added

Uber has in the recent past come up with a clutch of safety moves, 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.

Uber has also installed safety screens or safety cockpit in 20,000 premier sedans for the safety of riders and drivers. According to the company, they have already fitted them in 8,000 cars. The cost of installation is borne by Uber, and it comes free of cost to drivers.

This enables social distancing within the confines of a car. Additionally, it acts as a safeguard to prevent droplet and aerosol transmission.