Uber envisions a safer ride in 2015

The company is looking at using new driver screening methods, which may include polygraph tests

Uber, in 2015, is resolving to make its car hailing service safer, partly by enhancing its driver screening through the use of biometrics and voice verification.

"As we look to 2015, we will build new safety programs and intensify others," said Philip Cardenas, Uber's head of global safety, in a blog post published Wednesday.

The new efforts include increasing the number of cities and countries where background checks are conducted, and improving communications with local officials and law enforcement. Specifically, Uber is developing custom tools for biometric and voice verification screening in key areas where the company is active.

The company said it was exploring new ways to screen drivers globally. This may include incorporating polygraph exams to fill in the gaps in available data, on top of its existing screening for commercial licenses, Uber said.

Uber's smart to be making those changes. 2014 has shaped out to be a rough year for the company, as it faces widespread concerns over the safety of its service and its overall business practices. Uber said last week that it would be evaluating new screening options in India after a driver in Delhi allegedly raped a female passenger.

Uber did not give a precise timeline for when the changes would go into effect.

The company is also looking at giving riders a way to easily communicate with their loved ones and with the company during emergencies. Uber was recently criticized for upping its fares during the recent hostage situation in Sydney, Australia, giving away free rides after.

The company's review of its safety policies also comes following a lawsuit filed by regulators in Los Angeles and San Francisco that accuses Uber of misleading consumers over the quality of its background checks. The checks don't go far enough to screen out drivers who commit criminal offenses, the lawsuit alleges.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediamobileinternetmobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesUber

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?