Ola, one of the world’s largest rideshare platforms, has announced the launch of its new ‘Selfie authentication technology’ as an added layer of authentication for drivers, to enhance safety and prevent impersonation.
Ola has already adapted the new technology to add a special feature called the ‘Mask Selfie’, which will verify if drivers are wearing face coverings in regions such as Melbourne, where they are mandatory.
The innovative technology prompts on-duty drivers to regularly take and upload a selfie to their Ola driver app in between 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.
Ola’s proprietary technology verifies a driver’s image in the selfie 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.
The ‘Mask Selfie’ is now live in Melbourne and in New Zealand, where it is helping us to enforce the latest government regulations which require rideshare drivers to wear masks or face coverings.
This is built into the app universally and can be activated in any state or territory at any time as local regulations require.
What did the top official have to say about the feature?
Simon Smith, Managing Director of Ola Australia and New Zealand said: “We have always focussed on providing a safe and reliable ride experience with the right mix of technology innovation and driver-friendly policies.
The challenges of the pandemic have allowed us to think quickly and adapt our technology to further improve the safety of drivers and riders.
The selfie authentication and mask selfie technologies underline our commitment to constantly raise rideshare benchmarks in the country, following the successes of our market-first features such as Guardian and Start Code.”
Ola selfie authentication has already been active in a pilot phase in Australia, and has proved to be successful in reducing the rates of driver impersonation.
The technology will be rolled out to all of Ola’s metro and regional locations in Australia and New Zealand across the country starting this week.