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How Uber palns to serve its passenger better

By Alnoor Peermohamed
Last updated on: September 01, 2017 17:41 IST
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It was investing heavily in finding new ways to gauge driver behaviour apart from just relying on feedback provided by riders.

Uber, the US-based ride hailing aggregator, has rolled out a slew of safety features on its India platform.

The features include real-time trip sharing, instant ID checks and improvements in the way it analyses and uses driver and user reviews.

At an event in Bengaluru, the firm said it was extending its “share trip” feature to drivers, letting them easily inform their families about their whereabouts.

Another feature included flagging of duplicate driver profiles, ensuring that only drivers verified by Uber were on the platform.


“At every step we are maximising the use of technology to bring transparency and accountability through features such as two-way feedback and ratings, telematics and GPS, among others. We believe such features will have a positive impact on furthering trust between riders and driver partners,” said Apurva Dalal, head of engineering at Uber India.

Uber said it was investing heavily in finding new ways to gauge driver behaviour apart from just relying on feedback provided by riders.

The company’s driver dashboard now includes reports telling them how many times they were overspeeding, driving rashly, etc.

Uber has also devised training programmes for its drivers on how to address female riders.

It has also introduced guidelines on how riders should conduct themselves in cabs.

“We strongly believe that ensuring a safe ride experience requires concerted efforts. Riders, drivers, Uber, law enforcement agencies, policymakers and India Inc must come together to make our cities safe,” said Pradeep Parameswaran, head of central operations at Uber India.

After reports in the media suggesting the government’s plans to make it mandatory for drivers of Uber and Ola to furnish their Aadhaar cards at the time of signing up, Uber said it was evaluating the use of a biometric tool to improve driver verification.

Parameswaran said that anything that would improve safety of drivers and riders is already being considered.

Ride hailing companies Uber and Ola have faced an uphill battle in winning the trust of riders and the administration in India.

After a case of a Uber driver raping a female passenger in Delhi came to light, the two companies faced a ban in several cities and were forced to improve their driver verification methods.

Uber's campaign to boost safety in India comes after it was revealed that Eric Alexander, former head of Uber's Asia Pacific business, had appropriated medical records of the rape victim and was investigating it to prove foul play by Ola.

Alexander was fired by Uber when news organisations ReCode and New York Times got to know of the violation.

Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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Alnoor Peermohamed in Bengaluru
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