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Uber Will Stop Tracking Riders; Offers Free Insurance To All Drivers In India

This new change is a part of their ‘180 Days of Change’ PR Campaign

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After ex-CEO of Expedia Dara Khosrowshahi took the chair as Uber’s new chief executive, Uber has started working hard to towards a fresh, clean start.

They were heavily criticized for the feature which allowed them to track the riders for up to five minutes after the end of a trip. World’s largest ride hailing service company is desperately trying to improve their poor reputation for breaching customer’s privacy.

Uber Tracked Users Even After The Trip Ended

Uber will ditch the controversial feature, and will ensure the location data is shared only while the app is being used. The new app update is expected to roll out on Tuesday, and will first be made available for iPhone users, starting this week.

They have lined up a number of changes in the near future. They are trying to recover from an endless series of crises with the exit of ex-CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick and other top executives.

The new feature gives a new option for the users to limit the data gathering to ‘Only When App is in Use’, instead of forcing them to choose between ‘Always’ or ‘Never’.

Replying to privacy concerns, Uber said it needed the permission of ‘always gathering data’ in order to track the riders for up to five minutes after a trip was completed, which Uber believed could help ensuring customers’ physical safety.

Though, the new changes will be applicable only to IOS users first, the company will bring it to Android users at a later date.

This new change is a part of their ‘180 Days of Change’ PR Campaign. A series of new updates are being expected in the coming year to improve the privacy, security and transparency at the company.

All Driver Partners in India Will Be Insured For Free

Uber will be insuring over 4.5 lakh Uber driver-partners in the country in partnership with ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

They will be rolling out an insurance programme for all the Uber driver-partners in the country, starting on September 1. It will cover all Uber drivers under the insurance, aged 18 to 65 years for free. Presently, Uber has a similar offering in Indonesia and Myanmar.

In India, Uber is locked into an intense battle with SoftBank backed OLA for leadership in the market. They have claimed to have seen a massive 115 percent increase in number of the completed trips on their platform last month, compared to the same period a year ago in India.

The insurance will cover accidental death, disablement, hospitalisation and outpatient medical treatment in any case of an accident while the driver-partner is using the Uber app, i.e. for the trip request or en route or on a trip.
ICICI Lombard offers a coverage upto Rs. 5 lakh in the event of death or permanent disability, up to Rs. 2 lakh in the event of hospitalisation (which has a sublimit of up to Rs. 50,000 in case of a outpatient treatment).

In-App Chat and Multi Destination Feature

Apart from the insurance, Uber also rolled out their new set of features which includes Pause Requests, In-App Chat to enhance the experience for drivers and customers (customers don’t have to share their phone number) and Multi Destination Feature (in case customers have to halt at multiple points during a ride).

At the same time, Uber has also partnered with AISECT to introduce a WhatsApp enabled module, that will teach drivers a series of basic English conversational skills, which will help them to improve their ratings on the company’s platform.

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