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Prevention Better Than Cure: Taxi Company Expands Rider Safety Feature to 13 More Indian Cities

New Delhi (Sputnik): In the wake of the rising number of rape cases in India, taxi hailing service providers are taking measures to ensure the safety of female employees. There have been several incidents where taxi drivers have misbehaved in their interactions with passengers.

Indian cab service Ola on Monday announced the expansion of its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based safety feature ''Guardian'' to 13 more cities in the nation in a bid to provide safe travel to women.

The safety feature, aimed to protect cab drivers in unfavourable situations, is capable of fetching real-time data from on-going rides and detects any irregular activity during the course of a trip – including unexpected route deviations or prolonged halts.

All the recorded data from a suspicious trip would get flagged off to Ola’s 24-hour safety response team in real time and reach out to passengers and drivers to confirm whether they’re safe while offering on-the-call assistance until the ride is completed.

“We are focused on developing innovations that place customer safety at the heart of platform experience,” said Arun Srinivas, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Ola.

“Guardian” was first rolled out back in 2018 as a test feature in three metro cities – Bengaluru, Mumbai and Pune.

Ola’s international rival in the ride-hailing space, Uber, has also included safety features for its users and staff.

Uber’s safety features include call anonymization, to protect the privacy of riders, comprehensive background checks of drivers and a 24/7 safety helpline.

Earlier in July, search engine giant Google had introduced a new “Stay Safer” feature on its Maps to alert and notify users travelling in taxis and auto-rickshaws if their vehicle went off-route in India.

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