Finally a good reason to take a car selfie. Uber has taken a step forward in providing an added level of security to its riders by forcing a “Real-Time ID Check” using facial recognition technology.
The announcement came this afternoon on Uber’s blog stating “our latest security feature which uses Microsoft Cognitive Services to protect both riders and drivers. Today we’ll start expanding this feature to cities across the United States.”
The ID check will prompts drivers to take a selfie before going online to help ensure that the driver using the app is, in fact the driver associated to the account. “This prevents fraud and protects drivers’ accounts from being compromised,” said the statement. “It also protects riders by building another layer of accountability into the app to ensure the right person is behind the wheel.”
How it works:-
– Drivers are asked periodically to take a selfie in the Uber app before they accept rides
– We then use Microsoft’s Cognitive Services to instantly compare this photo to the one corresponding with the account on file.
– If the two photos don’t match, the account is temporarily blocked while we look into the situation.
Apparently this verification step takes “only a few seconds”. Uber claims during the pilot phase, the majority of mismatches were due to unclear profile photos and at least 99% of of drivers were ultimately, adding valueble step in security that should not impact regular serivice.
Uber has also begun rolling out its self-driving car service in Pittsburg. Soon enough a driver identity verification won’t be required at all.