Uber today announced the installation of safety screens or safety ‘cockpits,’ a protective ceiling-to-floor transparent plastic screen between the passenger and the driver, in over 1500 cars and tuks, setting a new standard of safety in the ‘new normal.’ Additionally, these safety screens are being scaled up across product categories immediately.
Uber pioneered safety screens earlier this year with their installation in Uber cars to transport frontline healthcare workers. Uber picks up all costs associated with the installation of safety screens, which enable social distancing within the confines of a vehicle.
Commenting on the launch, Pavan Vaish, Head of Supply & Driver Operations, Uber South Asia, said, “At Uber, we are constantly re-defining transportation safety standards, and we take all possible precautions to help with safer travels for both riders and drivers. We pioneered safety screens earlier this year to maintain social distancing while on trips. Uber teams will continue to work around the clock to leverage our technology and global expertise, while also innovating the best possible product experience for all drivers and riders.’’
Drivers who have installed the safety screens in their vehicles have reacted positively to the initiative.
“Installing safety screens for free is a big help. The second wave of COVID-19 seems to have a bigger impact, and the masses are concerned about their safety. Such an initiative helps both riders and drivers feel safer.” said Colombo-based Tuk driver, C. Kumudu Jayathilake.
“It is great to see Uber take a step towards public health and safety. This is a good initiative, and passengers can travel more safely now.” said Colombo-based cab driver, M. Safrath Najimdeen.
Since the resumption of its services, Uber has been distributing cleaning supplies and protective equipment to all active drivers on its platform. Globally, Uber has purchased safety supplies worth $50 million. In Sri Lanka, Uber has procured and started distributing safety supplies such as masks and sanitizers worth 10 million LKR, free of cost to drivers and delivery people.
In addition to the distribution of safety supplies, Uber has recently launched a comprehensive set of safety measures, such as the Go Online Checklist and a mandatory mask policy for both riders and drivers, pre-trip mask verification selfies for drivers, driver education around Covid-19 related safety protocols, and an updated cancellation policy where both riders and driver can cancel trips if they don’t feel safe.