As the gradual easing of the lockdown begins to take full effect, Uber has adopted new technology to ensure compliance among drivers and riders.
As part of a new in-app safety checklist, all drivers will be verified to be wearing a nose mask before making a trip, by taking a selfie using new object recognition technology.
According to a statement issued by Uber and seen by Nairametrics, anyone who is not wearing a mask or face covering will not be able to access the app. Full implementation of this technology will kick off on Monday, May 18, 2020, and last till the end of June, when they will be reviewed based on the latest official health guidance.
The drivers also have to confirm that they have taken other safety measures like sanitising their hands and car and making hand sanitisers available for riders. The riders will also be required to wash their hands before getting into the car, sitting in the backseat, and opening windows for ventilation.
With the new development, drivers and riders can cancel rides without penalty if either party is not wearing a mask or face covering, and anyone who is repeatedly flagged could lose access to the Uber apps.
Uber partners Unilever
To further ensure compliance, the company has allocated $50 million and partnered Unilever to purchase and distribute safety equipment and hygiene kits to drivers and couriers across Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.
CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, noted that this will help keep the drivers safe.
“As cities begin to reopen and people start moving again, we’re taking unprecedented measures to help everyone stay safe and healthy, every time they use Uber. This includes working with partners like Unilever to help drivers, couriers, and riders access the masks and hygiene kits they need to work and travel more safely” she said.
Over 7 million masks and 350,000 units of sanitising and cleaning supplies will be purchased and distributed under this arrangement.
Speaking about the partnership, Alan Jope, CEO of Unilever said; “as people begin to venture out, we must collectively ensure that health and safety remain the absolute priority. We’re pleased that by partnering with Uber, and providing our trusted hygiene products, Unilever is able to help keep drivers, couriers, and riders as safe as possible.”
This partnership also entails sharing safety tips and recommendations as compiled in hard materials, to be shared with drivers, couriers, and restaurants.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber has continued to take steps to keep its drivers and riders safe. Recall that Uber provided drivers and couriers diagnosed with COVID-19 financial assistance for up to 14 days, to enable them to self-isolate.