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Uber is one of those companies that is taking numerous steps to curb the spread of COVID-19 through social contact. The company reportedly delivered essentials amidst the global lockdown. Now, as the ride-hailing company has began operation in some countries after it suffered major loses due to the lockdowns, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that they will be using Uber’s “selfie technology” to verify if the driver-partners are wearing face masks or not.

Khusrowshahi himself made this announcement during the company’s earnings call last week. Earlier, the company shipped millions of face masks to its driver-partners all around the world for safety measures. 

Driver wearing mask

“We’re shipping millions of PPE and masks, cleaning supplies etc., to our drivers to make sure that first drive, and the second, and the continuing drives, that our riders are safe and they feel safe,”, said Khusrowshahi.

Now, after shutting down for a brief period due to the global lockdowns in place, the ride-hailing company is gradually coming back to business in some countries, including the US.

So, the company is planning to use the already-existing Real-Time ID Check to verify whether or not the drivers are wearing the face mask during their rides. This tool was introduced by the company’s Trust & Safety Program Team back in 2017 to verify the identity of the drivers to prevent frauds and ensure the safety of the riders.

This tool uses Microsoft’s Face API to detect and recognize faces of the driver-partners by using the selfie camera of the device. Now, the company will use this “selfie tech” to verify if the drivers (and the riders) are wearing necessary protective gears to curb the spread of COVID-19. 

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“We are looking at technologies such as, for example, our selfie technology where we make sure that the driver who signed up is the actual driver who is driving. We can use that technology, for example potentially, to make sure that the driver is wearing a mask where appropriate.”

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