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Uber to demand passengers to take face mask selfies

Sep 2, 2020

Uber Technologies, Inc., commonly known as Uber, offers vehicles for hire, food delivery, package delivery, couriers, freight transportation, and, through a partnership with Lime, electric bicycle and motorized scooter rental. The company is based in San Francisco and has operations in over 900 metropolitan areas worldwide. It is one of the largest providers in the gig economy and is also a pioneer in the development of self-driving cars. (Source-wikipedia)

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The world's largest ride-hailing service has announced a new rule to ensure that customers wear face masks as the firm tries to win back cautious customers. Uber says its system is able to detect the mask.

Users of the ride-hailing service Uber who fail to abide by the company's coronavirus rules will be obliged to provide a selfie of themselves wearing a face mask if they want to carry on using the service, the San Francisco-based tech company announced in a statement.

"If a driver reports to us that a rider wasn't wearing a mask, the rider will be required to take a selfie with their face covered before they're able to take another trip with Uber".

The new policy mirrors a requirement imposed in May - if drivers are reported for not wearing a face mask, they must verify that their face is covered before making their next pick up.

'A two-way street' of accountability

The company referred to a "a two-way street" of accountability. They also reported that since implementing the rule regarding drivers, 3.5 million drivers had completed over 100 million verifications.

Uber's photo recognition system would automatically detect whether the customer was wearing a mask, according to the company. However, the system "does not process biometric information".

"As always, riders and drivers are free to cancel a trip, without penalty, if the other person isn't wearing a mask".

The new rule will come into effect in the US and Canada by the end of September and will then be rolled out to other countries after that.

Struggling with social distancing

Uber was hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as people made efforts to avoid coming into close contact with strangers and generally had fewer places to go as most bars, restaurants and places of work closed down.

The company saw the number of trips in the most recent quarter fall by 56% from the previous year.

New safety measures are an essential part of bringing back nervous customers. This new policy can be seen as an attempt to appease drivers who have also suffered from the fall in the number of people paying for rides.



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