Several Didi Hitch functions, including allowing drivers to comment on passengers and tag them according to their features, will be removed, according to phase one of the safety enhancement plans released by Didi Chuxing yesterday. Also, profile photos of passengers and car owners will only be accessible by the users.
The hitch service will be suspended between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night, and driver facial recognition will be made compulsory for every trip to minimize the risk of unapproved account use, according to the safety overhaul plan which was based on an internal review and feedback from public discussions.
Didi Chuxing on Friday announced the suspension of its hitch service and started the safety overhaul after a female passenger was sexually assaulted and killed by a driver.
The measures will be fully implemented before the hitch service resumes.
The overhaul is also extended to other services of Didi Chuxing. Every driver for Didi Express, Didi Premier and Didi Luxe will be required to pass a facial recognition every day before they can provide services.
The Emergency Help function will be redesigned and more prominently displayed in the app interface. Under the Emergency Help function, users may now choose to connect directly to 110 (police), 120 (ambulance), 122 (traffic emergency hotline) or the Didi 24/7 emergency helpline.
Once the Emergency Help button is clicked, a real-time audio recording is initiated. A Didi special customer service representative starts monitoring the situation immediately and calls back, and the trip information is automatically shared with the user’s emergency contacts.
Under the existing safety protection mechanism, the company now offers protection of up to 1.2 million yuan (US$188.221) that covers insurance, pre-payment for medical expenses, humanitarian aid in case of accidents, and special support in cases involving the sudden death of a driver.
The company will set up a fund to offer continuous help and care to passengers and drivers involved in accidents as well as their families.
The measures will be fully implemented by the end of this month, according to the company.
The company is now working with law enforcement authorities to screen drivers with background checks to make sure those who have committed violent crimes are excluded from the platform after the 21-year-old woman surnamed Li was killed May 6 after hailing a car in Zhengzhou , capital of Central China’s Henan Province. Li suffered multiple knife wounds, and her lower body was naked when her corpse was discovered May 8. The driver surnamed Liu abandoned his vehicle and jumped into a river after killing the woman.