Uber launches Mask Verification to ensure drivers are staying safe

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To ensure that both drivers and passengers remain safe in these continued times of pandemic and turmoil, mask verification software will be installed on all Uber drivers’ devices to ensure they abide by the safety precautions put in place by the company.

Now that the country has largely been downgraded to Level 4 Lockdown, despite some folks in that part of the country not abiding by the rules, we’re allowed to travel via ride-sharing apps again. Which is a blessing for those folks who need to move around but don’t have their own vehicles. Of course, this whole process is being conducted with loads of safety measures and precautions put in place by Uber. Perhaps the most impressive of these is a Mask Verification system to monitor whether drivers are actually wearing protective face masks.

When drivers go online or start their shift, they will be required to take a selfie of themselves wearing a protective face mask. The Uber app will be able to recognise whether or not they’re wearing a mask with new object recognition software. A checklist in the app also allows drivers to confirm whether or not they’ve met further safety checks such as sanitising their vehicle and providing hand sanitiser to passengers. On the flip side, riders will be able to check a similar list of features, such as cleaning their hands before entering the vehicle, sitting in the back seat and opening the windows where possible.

Alongside this slightly creepy safety precaution, Uber has also announced that it has allocated $50 million for safety equipment across the globe and has partnered with non-profit corporation YES to provide free face masks to all Uber drivers. Beyond that, Uber has partnered with Unilever to distribute specialised kits filled with all the precaution- and sanitation items drivers will need to continue operating in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber said, “For months we’ve been urging people to stay home, for their safety and the safety of drivers who continue to make essential trips. Now, as cities begin to reopen and people start moving again, we’re taking unprecedented measures to help everyone stay safe and healthy, every time they use Uber. This includes working with partners like Unilever to help drivers, couriers and riders access the masks and hygiene kits they need to work and travel more safely.”

So get your masks on and hail an Uber, knowing that the app is keeping careful watch over everything. Just…try not to let that thought freak you out in equal measure.

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I completed a Masters Degree just so someone might take my opinions seriously one day. Also writes about video games over at Critical Hit.

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