Have you ever taken an Uber? I think most of us have at least once. Some users rely on the app to get to and from a party, an event, or to work and back. It has sort of changed the way transportation works, for those who use it frequently. The company is trying to make their service even more secure by launching a new safety feature for Uber riders. If you use Uber even semi-frequently, you're going to want to know more about Uber's new Verify Your Ride, a PIN number safety feature that will soon be implemented in November.
Uber has consistently been working on making their service safer, by implementing safety protocols like their Check Your Ride, which was added to the Uber app in April 2019. The protocol's addition to the app was part of Uber's Campus Safety Initiative, which started with the University of South Carolina. The Campus Safety Initiative was Uber's effort to help educate college students and be sure they weren't endangering themselves by getting into a car with "fake rideshare drivers," according to press materials sent from Uber to Elite Daily back in April.
If you don't remember, this initiative and the increased education for Uber's Check Your Ride protocol came after a University of South Carolina student was allegedly abducted and killed after mistakenly getting in what she thought to be an Uber, according to ABC News. According to the Columbia Police Department and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the investigation is still ongoing. In an emailed statement to Elite Daily, an Uber spokesperson said at the time:
Since 2017, we’ve been working with local law enforcement to educate the public about how to avoid fake rideshare drivers. Everyone at Uber is devastated to hear about this unspeakable crime, and our hearts are with Samantha Josephson’s family and loved ones. We spoke with the University of South Carolina President and will be partnering with the university to raise awareness on college campuses nationwide about this incredibly important issue.
Uber is now releasing a new safety feature that offers extra security on top of their Check Your Ride steps. According to Uber press materials sent to Elite Daily, Verify Your Ride uses a PIN number "to verify the rider is getting into the correct vehicle". The company plans to roll out ultrasound tech for Verify Your Ride in the future.
This unique PIN system is going to make Uber better for the passengers and the drivers, as drivers have admitted in feedback to the brand that the pick-up is stressful for them, too. So, how does a unique, 4-digit PIN help the rider and the driver know it's the correct pairing?
Verify You Ride will give riders a four-digit PIN. This PIN number will then have to be stated verbally to the Uber driver. To move forward, the driver has to enter the PIN code and it will be verified in the system if the passenger has provided the correct code.
The Verify Your Ride Steps for Uber Passengers aren't too complicated, but here's a complete rundown, courtesy of Uber:
How To Verify Your Ride
- Open you Uber app.
- Look for the car details that show up in the driver card in the app.
- Take a moment to match the license plate, make, and model info in the app with the Uber car you see in front of you.
- Open the passenger-side door, and — before you get in — have the driver confirm his or her name and provide them the PIN number from your Uber app.
- If it's the correct drive, the driver will enter the PIN number, and you get into the car. If it's not correct, you have the wrong car and should contact your correct Uber driver.
In the future, Uber is hoping to roll out an advanced, ultrasound wave technology. This will make the process a little simpler, by using ultrasound waves to transmit the PIN, without the rider or driver needing to verbally state or enter the PIN into the app. When verified this way, the rider will receive a confirmation notification and then the driver is all set to go.
Uber is also releasing a few more features to make your experience better. In April 2018, Uber added an emergency button in the app that connects riders to 911. They've now announced the ability to text 911 directly, in cities and counties that support the feature.
Along with this, they have also announced Bike Lane Alerts, which will let a rider know when they're dropped off near a bike lane. Plus On-Trip Reporting — which allows riders to report a safety issue to Uber during a trip — and an improvement to Real-Time ID Check, which will further verify that the driver is who they claim to be.
These other features may come sooner than the Verify Your Ride, as the Bike Lane Alerts are set to become available in October. But, when will the Verify Your Ride launch on the Uber app? You'll have to wait until November, but this sort of verification process will be worth the wait, and you'll be able to opt-in with a pop-up notification when it launches. I know I'll feel a lot safer taking an Uber when Verify Your Ride becomes available. If you're still taking Ubers between now and then, though, make sure to use Check Your Ride until the additional safety feature drops.