Ola, one of the world’s largest rideshare platforms, has launched ‘Selfie Authentication’ technology to ensure its drivers are wearing masks as part of new safety measures to protect both drivers and riders.
This comes Ola drivers around the country adapt to the ‘new normal’ of having to wear face coverings while driving.
The technology has been specifically developed by Ola for drivers in countries where wearing masks had been made mandatory.
Drivers are prompted to periodically take a real-time selfie with their mask on before being able to accept further rides. The selfie is then digitally analysed to detect if the driver is wearing a mask and confirm they are a registered driver in the system.
The ‘Mask Selfie’ feature will be rolled out across New Zealand this week, following the guidelines issued by the government, which have mandated wearing of masks and face coverings for rideshare drivers.
Mask Selfie is one feature of Ola’s ‘Selfie Authentication’ software. The technology verifies a driver’s image against the file photo the driver submitted during registration. If a discrepancy is detected, a member of Ola’s Central Verification team will manually check the photos to determine if they match.
If the photos do not match or a valid selfie is not provided when prompted, the registered driver will be prevented from using the platform. Drivers found to be sharing their driver account will be reported to authorities as appropriate.
"We want both riders and drivers to be able to travel with the highest levels of safety at all times," says managing director at Ola New Zealand Brian Dewil.
"Our Selfie Authentication technology will allow us to regularly check up on our drivers and prevent those who are using the platform incorrectly, from taking rides.
We are committed to raising the industry benchmark for rideshare in New Zealand, which is more important than ever in the current environment."