Uber drivers will henceforth have to affirm that they’re putting on a mask, take a photo for the Artificial Intelligence in the app to prove it before they will be allowed to accept a ride.
Also, they will have to disclose that they don’t have COVID-19 or related symptoms and that they’ve sanitized their vehicle for the day, and so on.
Uber’s Sachin Kansal said “when riders and drivers rate each other, there’s a way to indicate that they weren’t wearing a mask. If riders are doing that frequently, we will take action, including potentially taking them off the platform.”
Riders, ad interim, are advised not to use the front seat of a vehicle, and can’t request a ride until they’ve agreed to wash their hands and open a window if possible.
Nothing that two things are inexcusable. The first is the actual safety of the Uber Riders. Secondly, the rider’s comfortability with the idea of being in an exiguous space with a stranger after a long time.
Kansal said during the call that “As people start going to work, they are going to have much higher expectations of us, they’re going to have much higher expectations of a lot of other service providers.”
With Uber’s term for the moment; “your second first ride.” People are expected to feel different, making them as anxious as the first time they got into a stranger’s car because an app told them to.
As a precautionary measure, Uber is spending $50 million on PPE for drivers to use and to give to riders, create a number of in-app videos to help in the process. That’s where they show the right way to wear a mask, how to clean your space, and many more.
There are some universal lessons here that every company seems to be learning. Make the rules clear, and post them everywhere. Have people self-report their symptoms, and the situation around them, as often as possible. And make sure you’re rethinking every part of the process because there are all kinds of small things we can’t take for granted anymore.