Uber Rolls Out Facial Recognition in ChinaApril 22 2016
From Tech in Asia
There’s an uncomfortable amount of fraud in the ride-hailing app industry. Drivers have been caught doing everything from spoofing their locations to faking rides to cash in on subsidies.
Apps like Uber, China’s Didi Kuaidi, and India’s Ola have rolled out a suite of security features to crack down on fraud and get a handle on who the hell is driving those cars.
The latest comes from Uber, which today unveiled a sophisticated new facial recognition feature to make sure drivers are who they say they are. And it will be first launched in China.
Facial recognition will be used to confirm a driver’s identity during registration, and will also be part of periodic spot checks in the app.
This isn’t likely to change much on the user side. The biggest difference you’ll see if you’re hailing a ride is that your driver’s picture will be more standardized.
The company has developed a number of unique localizations in Asia over the past few months, such as UberMOTO, the motorcycle hailing service that has, thus far, only rolled out to a few key South and Southeast Asian markets.
This new feature comes courtesy of a deal Uber struck with a Chinese facial recognition startup, Face++. It’s currently in beta, and will be part of the drivers’ app in China next month.
Based in Beijing, Face++ has become one of China’s most sought-after startups for facial recognition, partnering with other Chinese giants like Alibaba. Jack Ma once used it for a “selfie payment” at a tech conference in Germany.