Uber launches new rider security feature

Ride-hailing company Uber launched a new safety feature that uses randomized PIN numbers on Tuesday to help customers make sure they are getting into the right cars.

Once a user books a ride, they are sent a four-digit PIN number. When the driver arrives, the user has the driver enter it into their Uber app. If the numbers match, confirming the pickup, the ride will begin.

“They can see the confirmation before getting into the vehicle and they don’t have to take the driver’s word for it,” Rebecca Payne, senior product manager at Uber, told the Chicago Tribune.

The big picture: Uber’s safety protocols have been under scrutiny after a number of cases where riders say they were assaulted or threatened. The company disclosed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported by users in 2018.

In March 2019, Samantha Josephson, 21, was killed in South Carolina after getting into a car with a man who impersonated an Uber driver.