Ride-hailing giant Uber on Wednesday that it will install safety screens or safety cockpits in 20,000 Premier sedans for the safety of riders and the drivers. Earlier, Uber's rival in India, Ola had also announced a similar safety tool for its riders and driver-partners. The safety screens or the "safety cockpits" would minimize the interaction between the two parties hence reducing the risk of contracting the deadly coronavirus.
As per Uber, the safety cockpits are protective ceiling-to-floor transparent plastic screen, which is installed between the passenger and the driver. This would help people follow the social distancing norms within the confines of the cab. Additionally, it acts as a safeguard to prevent droplet and aerosol transmission. The safety screens will be initially available in Premier sedans but Uber has plans to expand it to other categories as well.
Talking about the new move, Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations, Uber India and South Asia, said, "At Uber, we are constantly defining transportation safety standards and take all possible precautions to ensure the safety of both riders and drivers. After pioneering safety cockpits in the Indian market, Uber teams will continue working around the clock to leverage its technology and global expertise for continuing to innovate the best possible product experience for all our drivers and riders.''
The ride-hailing giant resumed services after the lockdown 4.0 was lifted in India. It has started functioning the way it used to before the lockdown was imposed albeit with a comprehensive set of safety measures. For instance, the rider and driver-partners are required to wear masks during their journey and if any of the party is seen breaking the norms, the trip can be canceled by either party. Uber had developed a special technology called the Go Online Checklist, which will be used to confirm whether a driver has taken necessary safety measures or not and whether he is wearing a mask or not. Only when the details are confirmed, the driver can start his services.
Uber had advised their driver-partners and riders to not switch on AC during the ride as that could reduce ventilation. They have advised riders to sit at the rear seat and open windows for ventilation.
The company claims that Uber has purchased safety supplies worth 50 million dollars and sourced more than 3 million face masks, 1.2 million shower caps for Moto riders, 200,000 bottles of disinfectants, and 200,000 bottles of sanitizers for free distribution to all its driver-partners in India.
In order to encourage drivers to wear masks and use sanitizers, Uber had delivered protective equipment to all active drivers on its platform. They are advised to sanitize their cars after every trip using the supplies.
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