Uber has unveiled a new feature to allow users to hail a cab for other people or friend or a family whether they have the Uber app or don’t as long as they are in your list of contacts.
On request, the feature allows you to select yourself or another person as a passenger and the passenger is notified via SMS about the trip details, a link to track how far the driver is and a phone number to call him. At the end of the ride, you can pay by card or M-Pesa or let the passenger pay in cash. This new feature is expected to increase the number of rides and provide reliable transportation to more people across the world.
The firm has also launched a new intelligent new safety feature dubbed Real-Time ID to improve safety for drivers and riders using the app.
With the new feature, drivers are periodically prompted to share a selfie before going online, Uber then compares this photo to the one corresponding to the account on file to validate the driver before they start driving.
Real-Time ID works by prompting drivers using the app to share a selfie from time 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. This helps Uber to ensure in real time that the driver using the app matches the account it has on file.
The feature is not rocket science but an update after software and device firms launched voice, facial and gesture recognition. These will ensure that the driver who is picking you up is really the one who is registered.
Currently, this feature is being rolled-out to drivers in Kenya in phases so not all drivers will see this feature right away. Alongside Kenya, Real-Time ID has also been rolled out in South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana this follows a global roll out that was launched in the US.