Drivers will periodically be asked to share a selfie with Uber before they log on to the app and Uber's systems will then instantly compare this photo to the one corresponding with the account in their files. If the two photos don't match, the account will be suspended temporarily while Uber will look into the matter further. The feature will initially be rolled out in five Indian cities --New Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
The feature could help build trust for riders who sometime complain of being driven by drivers who are not the same person as the one shown in the app.
Uber had rolled out "Real ID check" in September last year in the United States. At the time, Uber had said the service uses Microsoft Cognitive Services. "This prevents fraud and protects drivers' accounts from being compromised. It also protects riders by building another layer of accountability into the app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel," Uber had said that time.
Uber has been investing in rider and driver security. One such India first feature is the SOS function, now known as the 'emergency' button, which lets riders directly connect with the police control room and an internal response team at Uber.
Uber also recently launched a series of new safety features in the driver app to improve road safety, which includes daily reports to drivers about how their driving patterns compare to other drivers in their city -- with suggestions on how to provide a smoother, safer ride. It also sends messages in the driver app informing drivers that mounting their phone on the dashboard is safer than holding the phone in their hand.