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Uber app. Pixabay

Concerned at the safety of riders amid growing driver-related incidents in India, cab-hailing company Uber on Thursday introduced three new safety feature — PIN verification before the ride, ‘RideCheck’ to spot trip irregularities during the ride and in-ride audio recording (to be rolled out as a pilot later this year).

The ‘RideCheck’ safety feature will enable Uber to flag certain trip irregularities, like long, unexpected stops or midway drops that may indicate an increased safety risk, especially for women.


If an anomaly is detected, Uber will initiate a RideCheck by reaching out to both the rider and the driver.

As part of the PIN authentication feature — which rival Ola introduced way back in 2017 — riders will receive a 4-digit PIN at the start of their trip which, once shared with the drivers, will begin the trip.

Uber also said that it would pilot audio recording as a pioneering feature in the Indian market later this year. The in-ride audio recording feature is currently available in Brazil and Mexico.

“Over the past three years, we have introduced several features to enhance safety standards on our platform. Today, we raise the bar again as we work towards introducing audio recording in India as a pilot this year and roll-out the RideCheck feature for long stop and midway drop-offs,” said Sachin Kansal, Senior Director of Global Safety Products, Uber.

Once the audio recording feature is introduced, a rider or driver partner will have the choice to record audio through their phone while on-trip.


Photo shows an exterior view of the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (VOA)

When the trip ends, the user has the option to report a safety incident and submit the audio recording.

The audio file shall be encrypted and the user cannot listen in to the stored recording on their device, but may choose to send it to Uber’s customer support agents, who will use the audio to help better understand an incident and take appropriate actions.

Only Uber will have access to the audio once the user submits it, said the company.

Uber has a partnership with non-profit Manas Foundation, which has conducted thousands of customised ‘gender sensitisation workshops’ for Uber driver partners.

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So far, this initiative has sensitised over 50,000 driver partners across eight cities in the country.

“It gives me immense pleasure to see that Uber and Manas Foundation are working so closely together to implement our suggested gender sensitisation training to driver partners,” said Rekha Sharma, Chairperson, National Commission of Women (NCW).

In addition to the PIN, Uber announced that it’s working on advanced technologies that will use ultrasound waves to automatically transmit the safety PIN for verifying rides in the future. (IANS)


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Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal.

Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".

Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.

"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.

"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)


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Prepare for the special celebrations this festive season with the ultimate beauty well-being checklist which will not only make you look good on the outside but also shine from the inside.

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After the long dull period of the pandemic and lockdowns, one must be looking forward to the festival season with new excitement and zest. So obviously you want to look and feel your best. Beauty regimes are not just skin deep, they de-stress and uplift your spirits. Prepare for the special celebrations this festive season with the ultimate beauty well-being checklist which will not only make you look good on the outside but also shine from the inside.

Rachit Gupta, Director, OxyGlow Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd, said, "Festivals are a time to shine bright and invest in a proper beauty well-being regime from head to toe. The key is to know what ingredients suit you and choose the brand which ensures good quality products. Especially in the day and time when there is so much stress, pollution, sun damage, etc. One cannot go wrong with the beauty product that they are using. The right products can unleash one's true beauty and make them refreshed to be able to enjoy the festivities fully."

* Headturner -- How your hair looks to make a lot of difference to your complete look. But do not forget a proper hair care regime can relax and clear your mind. Start with a good oil massage which provides nourishment to the hair and scalp. It throws the stress right out. Coconut oil, Amla oil, Argan oil and Red onion oil are especially recommended. Special occasions call for special treatment, after a good hair wash deep condition your hair with a mask. A Keratin hair mask works wonders by putting life into your hair. Finish up with a vitamin-enriched serum for lustrous hair.

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