After Ola introduced its Masked Numbers feature, competitor Uber has also launched a similar feature on its platform. This feature basically encrypts all calls between riders and driver-partners, so that phone numbers of both parties are protected for added safety.
To elaborate, this feature basically allows riders and drivers to communicate with each other for coordination on pick-up, through anonymous numbers, without revealing their personal phone numbers.
“We care deeply about the safety of our riders and drivers. This new safety technology will help provide increased security before, during and after the ride,” Deval Delivala, Uber’s India Safety Lead, said in a statement.
After the Delhi rape incident, Uber has released a slew of safety measures like the SOS button, proper re-verification and screening of driver partners, and even a dedicated Incident Response Team.
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Currently, Uber runs in 22 Indian cities and has seen some tough hurdles since its entry. It had to even change business strategy, after the RBI weighed down on it, and made two-factor authentication a mandate. It also introduced cash payments as they still continue to be a popular mode of payment in India.
The company has been in the spotlight, especially in Delhi for plying under the Radio Taxi Act. Many government kaali-peeli drivers have also complained that their business has been affected since Uber entered India, and have also gone on strike in the past to protest against cab aggregators.
The company recently also launched its carpooling service UberPOOL in Bangalore, and plans to roll it out in other cities eventually.