Uber has announced the introduction of a new safety feature – Real-Time ID Check-in – a technology mean to improve safety for drivers and riders using the app.
With the new feature, drivers are periodically prompted to share a selfie before online after which Uber then compares the just-uploaded photo to the one corresponding to the account on file to validate the driver before they embark on the trip.
Loic Amaco, Uber East GM, said: “We’re constantly developing and testing new solutions to enhance security for both drivers and riders. Real-Time ID Check-in is the result of comprehensive research and testing and the example of proactive technology that solves potential challenges before they occur. The check protects drivers driving with Uber from fraud, theft and other risks to their account being compromised. This helps Uber to ensure in real-time that the driver using the app is the matches the account it has on file.”
Real-Time ID works by prompting drivers using the app to share a selfie from to time before going online. This verification is achieved through advanced facial recognition technology and takes place within a few seconds. If the two images don’t match, the account is temporarily blocked while Uber looks into the situation.
“The innovation behind Real-Time ID started with experimentation with voice, facial and gesture recognition. However, the simple action of taking a selfie is a language that people all over the world understand. We can now ensure that only the registered driver can use and benefit from our app,” added Amaco.
Currently, the feature is being rolled out to drivers in Kenya in phases and not all can use it right away.
“Technology is a powerful tool that can improve safety and security in ways not possible before. Riders can feel safe knowing that their driver has been verified and drivers using the app can rest assured that a fraudster is not using their account,” added the Uber east Africa boss.
Apart from Kenya, Real-Time ID feature has been rolled out in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana after it was piloted and launched in US.