As we’ve said many times in the past months, the world will never be the same after we’ve gotten grips on the coronavirus pandemic. Industries and economies around the world will look very different in the years to come. Uber has come to terms with this reality as well and will use new technology to ensure the safety of drivers and passengers alike.
The company has confirmed it’s requiring face masks or similar coverings for both drivers and passengers in most markets around the world. It is in the process of developing new technology that will automatically detect whether or not drivers are abiding by those rules.
It is also believed that Uber is looking at various ways to ensure that riders are also wearing masks.
We’re not really sure what form this technology would take, but it will be a natural evolution of the company’s Real Time ID-check feature. This periodically requires drivers to take selfies.
Uber has been supplying disinfectants and masks to its drivers, but further measures will need to be taken if the company is to return to its previous ridership levels once governments around the world start lifting quarantine and lockdown measures. As you can imagine, ridership has fallen off a cliff as people stay at home, restaurants and stores are closed, and a general environment of fear persists.
The ride-sharing service hasn’t shared exactly how much their revenue is down, but the industry is suffering without a doubt. Uber’s biggest competitor, Lyft, has already retrenched more than 1,000 employees. While it hopes to rehire many of them before the end of the year, it must adapt to their new financial reality. While Uber has made no official announcements about possible retrenchments, according to a tipster they may let go of about 20 percent of their staff.
While these measures may be necessary to keep these companies solvent, it remains to be seen how long it will take before customers are comfortable enough to use them at mass.