Ride-hailing giant Uber has issued new guidelines for its rider-partners across the globe. The company on Tuesday announced that it is rolling out a new feature that would require riders to submit a selfie in a mask before starting the trip. Uber had earlier rolled out a similar tool for driver-partners, which required drivers to share selfies in mask before a trip. So if you thought you could do away with the mask inside your cab, you were wrong.
Ever since Uber resumed operations in the middle of coronavirus-induced lockdowns, it bounced back with fresh guidelines to ensure the safety of its passengers and driver-partners. Back in May, Uber had announced a "no mask no ride" policy for the drivers and riders. While it is mandatory for drivers to share their selfies in the mask, this would not be the case for riders.
Uber will not make it mandatory for all riders to wear masks but only if a driver complains that a rider is not wearing a mask, the company will ask the rider to submit a selfie before boarding a cab next time. As part of the new guidelines, both the riders and drivers can cancel the ride if they don't feel safe. The company will not charge any penalty from both parties for canceling the trip.
"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, Senior Director of Product Management, Uber, said in a statement.
Kansal also said that Uber does not use facial recognition technology to detect masks but it simply detects masks as an object. The picture that you share with Uber is stored for only 96 hours on the platform for references but it is deleted permanently after the time period is over and all the disputes are settled.
Uber will roll out the mask verification feature in the US and Canada by the end of September. The feature will be gradually rolled out to other countries including India in the coming months.
In order to enhance safety, Uber had 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.
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