After pulling out its heavily criticized feature from its app that allowed it to track riders for up to five minutes after a trip, San Francisco-based cab major Uber has now introduced a facial recognition ID approval system for drivers.
Henceforth, the drivers will have to click a selfie before accepting their rides to prevent impersonation by non-registered drivers, who drive on its platform.
What is said to be a security measure for its users, Uber has rolled out the new feature in Delhi, Kolkata, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Lucknow and will be rolled out to other cities too.
Yesterday, the ride-hailing company had announced its partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance to provide free insurance to its 4,50,000 drivers, in which they will get a free insurance cover for accidental death and disablement, hospitalization, and outpatient medical treatment in case of an accident while online on the Uber App.
“At every step, we are maximising the usage of technology to bring transparency and accountability through several features, which we believe will have a positive impact on riders and driver partners,” said Apurva Dalal, Head of Engineering, Uber India, reported Moneycontrol.
Earlier, it had partnered with Delhi Police to allow quick access to Himmat – a women safety mobile app and joined hands with the top bars in town to fight against drunk driving.
The IT backend for the ID validation of a driver has been designed to support even low-end feature phones. When a driver takes a picture for validation, the specific features of the driver is extracted from the image, which is then matched to the image available in the records. All this happens in real-time at in the IT backhaul.
The company is also planning to insert IoT-based sensors in the cars to ensure real-time monitoring of the vehicle’s health. It will gauge the engine condition, will alert on hard-breaking, and detect zig-zag movements to determine if the driver is rash.