Didi is requiring its hitch service drivers to undergo facial identification following a recent murder allegedly involving a Didi driver, with Chongqing taxis practicing a similar safety measure.
Didi's measures following the incident include requiring drivers to undergo a facial identification for every bid, turning off the personalized tags and comments and making drivers' and passengers' personal information and avatars private, and suspending all bids between 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to a Didi statement sent to the Global Times on Wednesday.
Didi will also add an emergency call button in a more conspicuous place in their smartphone application, and promises to take measures in case of any accident, legal incident or customer conflict under their platform, the statement said.
A flight attendant was allegedly killed by a Didi driver on May 6, who used his father's identification to drive because he was unqualified.
"Compulsory facial identification will ensure the reliability of safety checks," Zhi Zhenfeng, a law expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Didi had a facial identification system back then, but failed to function properly and was not required.
Chongqing also plans to upgrade smart terminal devices on taxis to activate a facial identification system for all taxis cruising in the city, the local road transport administration confirmed in a report conference on Tuesday.
The device will take photos of the driver every two to three hours. If the photos do not match, the taxi company will be automatically alerted, Chongqing-based cqnews.net reported.
Aside from facial identification, the upgraded system can also detect improper conduct, such as making phone calls while driving and using rude language, cqnews.net reported.
The system will definitely help supervise drivers, providing a better and safer riding experience, Zhi said, adding that attention must also be drawn to the drivers' private data. The companies must make sure the facial data gathered from the drivers are safe.