Uber and Lyft instituted new safety options and policies on. The move follows the death of Samantha Josephson, a student at the University of South Carolina, who was kidnapped and murdered in late March.
She was found dead once going in a vehicle that she believed to be her Uber ride. The murder, that has garnered national media attention, seems to have spurred action by the ridesharing behemoths.
Currently, the options are in testing, and they remind riders to check the license plate, make and model of the car, as well as the driver’s name and picture, before ever entering into a vehicle. The test is running in South Carolina, in partnership with the University of South Carolina, with plans to roll out nationwide.
Lyft, that went public on March twenty-nine, has implemented continuous background checks for drivers this week.
Uber, prepping to debut on the general public market, is taking the safety precautions seriously.
The new system reminds riders about checking their ride three separate times: the first is a banner at the bottom of the app once the ride has been ordered, the second could be a warning to envision registration number plate, automobile details, and photo, and the third is an actual push notification before the driver arrives reminding riders to check once more.
That said, Uber has also warned investors ahead of its IPO about a forthcoming safety report on the company, which could be damaging to the brand.
The report is meant to be discharged someday this year and can provide the general public its initial examine the dimensions of safety incidents and problems that occur on the platform.
“The public responses to the present transparency report or similar public coverage of safety incidents claimed to possess occurred on our platform might lead to negative media coverage and raised restrictive scrutiny and will adversely have an effect on our name with platform users,” said Uber in its April 14 IPO paperwork.
Indeed, the issue of safety on platforms like Uber and Lyft, or really any app that asks you to be alone with total strangers, goes well beyond any single incident. A CNN investigation found that 103 Uber drivers had been suspecting of the regulatory offense or abuse within the last four years.