Uber has launched a new safety verification feature for South African users which allows them to use a PIN to verify their driver’s identity.
“Once enabled, the user will receive a four-digit PIN code in their app while the driver is en-route to the pickup location,” Uber said.
The user must then provide this PIN verbally to the Uber driver, who types it into their app. If the correct PIN is given, the trip can begin.
“This added layer of verification can help ensure users get in the right car and drivers are picking up the correct rider,” Uber said.
How to use the feature
To enable the feature, navigate to settings in the app and tap the “Verify Your Ride” option.
You can then choose to use PIN verification for every trip or only during evening trips between 21:00 and 06:00.
Uber said that although the extra layer of verification provides peace of mind for both riders and drivers, it still encouraged riders to check information provided on the app – such as car make and model, license plate and the driver’s name and photo – before getting into a car.
Uber South Africa country manager Nduduzo Nyanda said that the new feature is a good example of how tech can make travel safer and will support the company’s efforts to prevent safety-related incidents.
“While I’m proud of the progress we’ve made, when it comes to safety, we know our work is never done,” Nyanda said.
Other safety enhancements
This roll-out follows the introduction of Uber’s RideCheck functionality in South Africa in November 2019.
RideCheck uses GPS and other data to automatically detect anomalies, such as an unexpected long stop, and proactively provides tools which riders can use to call assistance.
The company said that the PIN verification feature will be available to most users this week, with support for all users being added in the coming weeks.
Uber provided a video which explains how the feature works, which can be viewed here.