As a response to multiple complaints by passengers over the past few months, Indian cab aggregator Ola has launched ‘Project Guardian’ to contribute to the safety of riders in the cabs.
Launched in three cities – Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune – in its first phase, Project Guardian will include real-time monitoring of trip indicators like route deviations and unscheduled stops enroute the destination.
“Based on the indicators and time of travel, safety triggers will be created which will be attended to immediately by Ola’s Safety Response Team (SRT) which will be active round-the-clock. Post analysing the data, the Safety Response Team will connect with the customer to assess any potential unsafe ride and provide assistance as required,” read the press statement released by Ola on Tuesday.
In order to prevent driver impersonation, Ola has also launched its ‘Selfie authentication’ for drivers across the country. This method of authentication requires cab drivers to send a selfie to the Ola team which will be matched with the picture in the driver records.
“The Ola app has also been updated to include larger photos of driver partners, enabling customers to verify their authenticity and report impersonators,” the statement further said.
Adding that Ola has incorporated real-time data into the project, the statement said that the company was also working with governments to identify unsafe routes in the cities. Offline audit checks have also been incorporated, where surprise checks on Ola vehicles will be conducted to verify driver credentials and the state of the vehicles.
Speaking to TNM, an Ola spokesperson said, “It’s part of our vision to further strengthen the safety of customers on our platform. It’s across India and not only Bengaluru.”
Ola has been at the receiving end of many complaints from passengers alleging a slew of issues – from drunk drivers to molestation – in recent days.
Most recently, a 30-year-old woman in Bengaluru was saved from an alleged kidnap attempt by her Ola driver who was drunk. Realising the danger she was in, she yelled and banged on the doors of the car and was subsequently saved by people who rushed to her rescue near the KIA toll plaza on Ballari Road.
In June, a woman was made to strip and pose nude by an Ola driver in Bengaluru on a trip from Kodihalli to the Kempegowda International Airport.