A 21-year old flight attendant was murdered last week in the central province of Henan has given Didi Chuxing a knee-jerk reaction when it comes to passenger safety in ride-hailing and sharing services. The victim was a passenger using the “Hitch” service, a car-pooling offering which pairs drivers and passengers going in the same direction.
The suspect had used his father’s Hitch account at the time of the ride which Didi Chuxing says is a clear violation of their terms and services. Ride-hailing companies have been implementing safety measures and one such from Didi is facial recognition which drivers are meant to authenticate against their account before each ride. For this case, the security prompt did not occur.
As such, Didi Chuxing has suspended Hitch services for a week to allow for investigations to occur as well as internal reviews. New features promising emergency contact calls to Didi as well as emergency services will be added to the app. Another feature is to allow opt-in measures for the company to audio record the entire ride is being reviewed with customers to ensure that it doesn’t break any data privacy controls.
With the emergence of more and more ride sharing and hailing services, continue to be vigilant and have the necessary emergency contact numbers available. Don’t get into rides especially if the person does not match the profile picture of the driver as well. Stay safe everyone!