Uber Has New Tools for Fighting Fake Drivers: PIN Codes, Smiling, Blinking, and—Eventually—Ultrasound Waves Sent From Riders’ Phones

From Fortune authored by Danielle Abril:

“Uber is releasing five new features that aim to make its ride-hailing service safer for both riders and drivers who use its app.

The latest features, which will roll out over the next couple of months, give riders a PIN number they can use to verify they’re getting in the right car, allow in-app texting to 911, and alert riders if they’re going to be dropped off near or along a bike route. Uber is also strengthening its ID checks for drivers to prove the person at the wheel matches the person authorized by Uber. The ride hailing company is giving riders a way to report Uber driver incidents during a trip.

The safety features come after numerous reports of sexual assaults, kidnappings, and deaths from both riders and drivers using the service across the world. Last month, for example, a suspect was arrested in Maryland for allegedly shooting another passenger and his Uber driver after being picked up. In New York a 32-year-old Uber driver was charged with kidnapping and threatening to sexually assault a teenaged girl in July. And there have been several instances—and an associated death—of people faking to be Uber drivers in order to take advantage of unsuspecting riders.”

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