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Uber rolls out new safety feature in Brussels

12:04 26/02/2020

The US ride-hailing company Uber is testing out a new feature that is meant to increase passengers’ safety.

Passengers who book a Uber ride will from now on have the option of requesting a four-digit pin code, which they must subsequently give to their driver.

The additional verification step is meant to ensure that that riders get on the right vehicle and that drivers pick up the right passenger.

“We are constantly innovating so that we can offer passengers and drivers the tools they need to guarantee them a safe and reliable experience,” Sachin Kansal, global director of product management at Uber, told Het Nieuwsblad. “This new feature offers users extra security because they are now guaranteed to get into the right vehicle.”

Uber has frequently come under fire for safety lapses in the US, where there have been many allegations of physical assaults, rape and sexual harassment by Uber drivers during rides. Last year, the company disclosed its first-ever safety report, revealing that 3,000 passengers in the US reported being assaulted by drivers over a two-year period. 

There have been no complaints about sexual assaults or harassment by Uber or traditional taxi drivers in the Brussels-Capital Region in 2019. But according to city officials, those official figures probably represent an underreporting of the issue.

Photo: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

Written by Linda A. Thompson