Coronavirus outbreak: Uber updates its app with COVID-19 safety measures and policies

Updated: May 19, 2020, 01:07 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

All the new features are aimed at building a new product experience, which will help protect everyone, every time they use an Uber

This picture has been used for representational purpose only
This picture has been used for representational purpose only

As cities begin to reopen and millions of Indians start moving again, Uber India on Monday announced at its first virtual press briefing the launch of a range of COVID-19 specific safety features and policies that will change the way you ride the next time you use the app.

The announcements include an interactive Go Online Checklist for both riders and drivers, a mandatory mask policy for riders and drivers, pre-trip mask verification selfies for drivers, and updated post-trip feedback mechanism and a cancellation policy. All these new features are aimed at building a new product experience, which will help protect everyone, every time they use Uber.

Announcing the new features, Sachin Kansal, Global Senior Director of Product Management at Uber said, "Over the last two months, our global tech and safety product teams have been hard at work building a new, product experience for riders and drivers. Today, as India eases its lockdown, it's important we take all necessary precautions to help keep ourselves safe and to make the next trip safer for all. These new features and policies have been rolled out globally, and we will keep enhancing and revising them as needed to ensure a safer product experience for all."

Beginning today, riders and drivers will see a number of new additions in the app, such as:

    • 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 every trip, they must confirm that they’ve taken precautions such as wearing a face mask and washing or sanitizing their hands.
    • Mask Verification: 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.
    • Accountability for all: We are adding new options for feedback including if a rider or driver is not wearing a mask or face cover.
    • 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, we’re advising riders not to sit in the front seat. Only two riders will be allowed in a car and they’ll have to sit in the rear seat. 
    • Rideshare Health Safety Education: Working with global and local public health authorities, we have compiled safety tips and recommendations that will be sent to all riders and drivers.

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