Uber drivers in Kenya will take selfies to keep riders safe – Quartz

Uber is rolling out a brand new function that may assist shield each riders and drivers in Kenya from the dangers of fraud and theft. The new safety feature asks drivers to “periodically” take selfies in the Uber app earlier than they settle for rides. If the photograph of the driving force doesn’t match the one registered to the account, then that account is blocked.

Uber says the actual-time identification examine helps drivers shield their accounts from being compromised. It additionally “protects riders by building another layer of accountability into the app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel,” the corporate stated in an e mail assertion. The checks might tentatively forestall drivers from giving their telephones to associates or colleagues who will drive on their behalf when they don’t seem to be on obligation.

The California-based journey-sharing takes benefit of its speedy international enlargement to check out new merchandise that it will definitely takes to its largest city markets in the United States. Drivers in Kenya and Nigeria have been among the many first worldwide to settle for money.

This isn’t the primary time Uber has launched stay face checks for its service. Last yr, the corporate released a facial recognition check for its drivers throughout China. In March, the journey-sharing service additionally requested its drivers in India to take selfies to enhance safety. The journey-sharing firm has confronted security considerations over the previous few years—particularly after one among its drivers killed allegedly killed six people in a rampage in Kalamazoo, Michigan whereas choosing passengers in between rides. Users have additionally been urging the corporate to put in place an emergency hotline to reply to incidents.

Since its entry into the Kenyan market in 2015, Uber has confronted quite a few challenges not the least from drivers who have protested from the discount in costs. Stories about Uber drivers allegedly attacking passengers have additionally been reported in the media. Drivers have additionally been ambushed and injured in the previous, with some even having their automobiles burnt by rival taxi drivers.

Uber says the selfie function is at present being launched in phases in Kenya. Little Cab, a competitor of Uber in Kenya, also enforced face recognition for its drivers in May.

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