China’s Uber rival Didi Chuxing said that it would alter the algorithms of the app to allow only passengers that are the same sex as the driver during night time.
The change comes in the wake of the murder of a female passenger by an unidentified Didi driver in May.
Didi will keep the gender-based restrictions on for three hours during night time, for passengers’ safety. The taxi-app firm’s carpool service dubbed Hitch has been severely criticized last month when a woman was killed by an unidentified driver.
The police eventually arrested the driver, who had used his dad’s Didi account to pick up the woman. After the incident, the $50 billion company apologized and vowed to come with changes that will prevent these things from happening again.
The changes will include a mandatory facial recognition tech for drivers and the removal of passengers’ profile photos. It will also no longer use attractiveness ratings for passengers, which enabled male users to rate female users as “beauties” or “goddesses.”
Didi Rolling Out Other Safety Features
After the murder, Didi put on hold the service from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Following the changes, drivers will be allowed to operate between 10 p.m. and 12 a.m. and in the early morning hours but they will only be limited to riders of the same sex as them. Currently, just 10% of the company’s drivers are women, which could make female passengers’ life quite hard at night.
On Wednesday, Didi unveiled a new feature called “escort mode” that enables passengers to share data on their ride with an emergency contact. A similar feature is available in the Uber app.
Didi doesn’t face any competition in the Chinese market as, in 2016, it bought Uber’s China stake. Didi also has stakes in Lyft in the U.S., Ola, a ride-sharing service in India, and Grab in Japan.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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