Uber today announced the installation of safety screens or safety ‘cockpits’ in 20,000 Premier sedans, setting a new standard of safety for its riders and drivers in the ‘new normal.’
Uber, which pioneered safety cockpits in India with their installation in UberMedic cars to transport frontline healthcare workers, has already fitted them in 8,000 cars. The cost of installation is borne by Uber, and it comes free of cost to drivers. Additionally, these safety cockpits are being scaled up across other product categories immediately.
The safety cockpit is an innovative and protective ceiling-to-floor transparent plastic screen installed between the passenger and the driver. This enables social distancing within the confines of a car. Additionally, it acts as a safeguard to prevent droplet and aerosol transmission.
Commenting on the launch, Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations, Uber India and South Asia, said, “At Uber, we are constantly defining transportation safety standards and take all possible precautions to ensure the safety of both riders and drivers. After pioneering safety cockpits in the Indian market, Uber teams will continue working around the clock to leverage its technology and global expertise for continuing to innovate the best possible product experience for all our drivers and riders.’’
Since the resumption of its services across 70 South Asian cities, Uber is sourcing and distributing cleaning supplies and protective equipment to all active drivers on its platform. Uber teams have also been doubling down to source, purchase, and distribute a significant supply of masks, hand sanitizers, and medical grade vehicle disinfectants to drivers across all product categories.
Globally, Uber has purchased safety supplies worth $50 million. Complementing these initiatives, Uber has sourced more than 3 million face masks, 1.2 million shower caps for Moto riders, 200,000 bottles of disinfectants, and 200,000 bottles of sanitizers for free distribution to all its driver-partners in India.
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, mandatory 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.