Uber will ask some riders to verify they are wearing a mask by sending drivers a SELFIE before they are allowed to ride
- Uber is added face scanning technology to its app starting end of September
- The scan is for riders who have been previously reported for not wearing a mask
- These riders will be required to snap a selfie in the app of them wearing a mask
- If they do not comply, the user will be unable to take their trip
- Uber has required all of its drivers to wear a mask since May
The dark cloud that is the coronavirus still looms over the US and as a means of caution, Uber is asking some riders to verify they are wearing a mask before their driver arrives.
If a user has been reported to the firm for not wearing a mask in the past, their next ride will require them to take a selfie with their face covered.
The app will soon include a scanner that looks for a mask-like object on the rider’s face that is positioned over the mouth and nose.
Uber notes that both riders and drivers have the ability to cancel the trip if either are not complying with the protocol – and neither will penalized for doing so.
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Uber is asking some riders to verify they are wearing a mask before their driver arrives. If a user has been reported to the firm for not wearing a mask in the past, their next ride will require them to take a selfie with their face covered
Drivers for both Uber and UberEats and riders were asked to wear masks back in May.
Following the announcement, the firm added ‘face detection technology’ to its driver’s app that required them to take a selfie to show they are wearing a face cover before going online.
For those without a mask, they are unable to access the app – leaving them blocked from picking up passengers.
And now the same technology is rolling out to riders.
However, the verification process will only appear for users who were reported by a previous driver for taking a ride without a mask.
Sachin Kansal, global head of safety product, shared in the announcement: ‘Earlier this year, we built innovative technology designed to verify that drivers on Uber and delivery people on Uber Eats are wearing a mask.’
The app will soon include a scanner that looks for a mask-like object on the rider’s face that is positioned over the mouth and nose
‘Before starting to drive passengers or deliver food, they are asked to take a selfie showing their mouth and nose are covered.’
‘To date, more than 3.5 million drivers and delivery people have completed more than 100 million mask verifications.’
Uber is set to launch the mask verification feature in the US and Canada by the end of September, followed by Latin American and other countries around the world.
However, the firm is ensuring customers that ‘this technology detects the mask as an object in the photo and does not process biometric information.’
Uber has attempted to play its part during the coronavirus in a bid to keep both its drivers and riders safe.
Since March, the firm has distributed some 30 million masks and face covers in the US and 1.4 million drivers and delivery personel have received the protective gear worldwide.
‘In addition, we’ve provided more than 800,000 packages of disinfectant sprays, wipes, and hand sanitizer to drivers at no cost, including through our partnerships with Clorox, Unilever, and Dettol—with millions more on the way,’ said Kansal.
In July, the firm quietly launched a service to give public health officials quick access to data on drivers and riders presumed to have come into contact with someone infected with COVID-19.
Uber is set to launch the mask verification feature in the US and Canada by the end of September, followed by Latin American and other countries around the world
Now being promoted to government health officials in all the countries where it operates, the service provides health departments with data about who used Uber’s services and when and allows health agencies to urge affected users into quarantine, company officials told Reuters.
This means that if a person tests positive for COVID-19, health officials can use Uber’s database to see other people they may have come in contact with.
Information on an individual can be accessed in a few hours, the officials said, with the company considering COVID-19 an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury.