29/08/2017 06:50 SAST | Updated 29/08/2017 06:50 SAST

Uber Introduces New Safety Features To Protect Drivers

This follows months of attacks on Uber drivers and passengers.

The Uber logo is seen on a screen in Singapore August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White
Thomas White / Reuters
The Uber logo is seen on a screen in Singapore August 4, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White

Uber has launched new safety features aimed at protecting its drivers following several attacks on drivers and passengers in recent months, Business Day reported on Tuesday.

One of these, called Social Connect, will reportedly require new Uber cash customers to link their Uber and Facebook accounts. This means that Uber will be able to verify that the customer is real and that fake profiles are not being used.

At the moment, the feature is being used on new sign-ups but could soon expand to all of Uber's cash customer base.

Social Connect and another feature called Share My Trip will reportedly be piloted in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Uber said drivers who feel insecure are encouraged to use Share My Trip, which allows drivers to share information about their trips with their loved ones, especially when they are working in areas not deemed safe.

Uber recently introduced a feature called Cash Indicator which allows drivers to decide whether or not to accept a cash trip.

"While driver-partners have shown their concern regarding the safety of cash trips, many still do not want to remove the cash option altogether," Alon Litz, general manager of Uber sub-Sahara Africa told Business Day.

"We look forward to applying this additional layer of safety to verify rider identity and further strengthen the rider authentication process."