Uber has rebuilt its app to make sure its drivers and riders adhere to safety guidelines around the novel coronavirus. Before each trip, driver and passengers will now have to agree to a checklist of items, including , keeping windows rolled down when possible and have no one sitting in the front seat.
“Many countries around the world are moving to a new phase of recovery,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during a press call on Wednesday. “We’ve built a new product experience for a new normal.”
Uber drivers are considered essential workers, which means they can continue to work during the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve been delivering food to people in quarantine and transporting medical workers to and from the hospital. Safety has been a major issue for Uber drivers, as at least five are known to have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
“As cities and countries emerge out of this lockdown, all of us will have to work together to keep each other safe and healthy as we travel,” Sanchin Kansal, Uber’s senior director of product management, said during the press call. “The technology we’ve built is flexible and adaptable… And it’s going to evolve over time.”
Uber redesigned both of its apps for riders and drivers. For riders, when requesting a trip, they’ll first be taken to a checklist. This includes agreeing they have no COVID-19 symptoms and saying they’ll wear a mask, open the windows and sit in the back seat. Only then will Uber’s system start looking for a driver.
Similarly, when drivers log onto the app, they’ll also have to agree to a checklist. This list includes having not symptoms, wearing a mask and disinfecting the car. Drivers will additionally be required to take a selfie wearing a mask to be able to start driving.
Uber said it redesigned its apps with guidance from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The changes will roll out worldwide on Monday, May 18.
This story is developing…