Ride sharing is a growing industry, said to be worth $61 billion. Passengers have various options to choose from including industry leaders like Uber and Lyft and some less known names like RideConnect.
While these companies may target different customers, they are on the same page regarding passenger safety, which is one of the major issues and challenges of the industry today.
There is a dire need to come up with a solution since a large number of passengers prefer to ride their own vehicle or take public transport due to the risks involved in ridesharing.
Let’s have a look at some of the main dangers involved in ridesharing with some tips on how ridesharing platforms can ensure safety.
What Kind of Dangers Are There and Solutions
- Risk of Data Theft
Most ridesharing platforms require clients to make online accounts where they have to feed private information including their names, addresses, and contact details.
Some companies also allow users to pay online using credit cards and other payment options. This means customers have to enter their credit card details into the system, giving hackers a chance to get access to their financial information.
Big companies take steps to prevent hacks but they are not hackproof, as evident from the 2016 Uber hack. Hackers were able to breach the system and get access to data on 57 million riders and drivers.
The company had to shell out over $100,000 to the hackers to remove the information. However, it later came under fire for hiding the development and had to pay $148 million fine.
This was not an isolated incident as data breaches are common all around the world and passengers are aware of the situation. They do not want to risk their private information reaching unsafe hands, hence some stay away from ridesharing apps.
The Solution: Some ridesharing platforms are now using blockchain to improve security. Since blockchain is said to be safer, it would allow companies to prevent hacks. However, there’s a need to do more.
Companies should buckle up and improve security to ensure customers feel safe when they have to share personal information.
- Robbery and Theft
A large number of Lyft and Uber drivers were robbed by passengers in 2018 and the number is expected to be pretty high this year as well.
This puts drivers in a dangerous spot as they have to risk getting attacked or robbed when they sign up to be a driver. This is one of the main reasons why some major ridesharing companies are finding it difficult to hire skilled and experienced drivers.
Similarly, passengers are also a victim as drivers have been found to rob passengers.
The Solution: The solution lies in proper screening. Only experienced, professional drivers should be hired. They should have no past criminal record that suggests they may get involved in illegal activities.
Similarly, ridesharing platforms should also make sure passengers are trustable. They can create a system that allows drivers to rate passengers based on their experience – just like passengers get to rate drivers – so that dangerous customers can be filtered out.
- Sexual Misconduct
As odd as it may sound, several drivers and passengers have been a victim of sexual misconduct. This is a growing concern among men and women and a major reason why a large number of people prefer to stay away from ridesharing apps.
The Solution: Ridesharing platforms should keep an eye on rides and check on passengers/drivers if a ride is taking longer than usual. Plus, they can also introduce a button that’d allow passengers/drivers to send an alert in case they feel threatened.
- Luxury and Comfort
Many users prefer ridesharing apps only due to the luxury the cars offer. However, some vehicles are found to be in very bad shape and can make the journey painful.
Plus, cars may often breakdown, putting a lot of pressure on the passenger.
The Solution: Ridesharing platforms need to be stricter when selecting vehicles. All the cars should be clean, well-maintained, and in good condition.
Also it might be a good idea to encourage drivers to visit a service provider if their vehicle requires repairs. Metro Auto Glass, for example, can be a good option if you are in Sydney and encounter windscreen or car glass damage. Drivers can search for nearby options if located elsewhere.
These were some of the steps ridesharing platforms can take to ensure safety. The key lies in being careful and selecting the right drivers, cars, and passengers.