BEIJING (Reuters) – China ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing said on Wednesday that it will start using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to verify if drivers in its Latin American markets wear masks and disinfect cars to keep rides safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Didi, which is in eight countries across Latin America, Australia and Japan, introduced the use of such technologies in China since January, when the country started taking measures to stop the spread of the virus.
From May 22, Didi’s ride-hailing drivers in Latin America will need to take a selfie with mask on to pass the AI verification, and from June they will need to report their body temperature to the phone app and upload photos of daily vehicle disinfection works to the phone application.
Drivers who fail to follow the safety requirements may not be permitted to offer ride-hailing services to customers, while passengers will also be required to wear masks when they take Didi’s rides, Didi said in a statement.
Both passengers and drivers can cancel trips if they feel unsafe about hygiene conditions, Didi said.
Didi, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group, said it eventually plans to roll out these technologies to most of its overseas markets.
As stay-at-home orders to curb the virus pummeled its ride-hailing business around the world, ride hailing companies from Uber Technologies Inc to Lyft Inc have withdrawn profit guidance or reported double-digit declines in rides.
But they have seen bookings recovering in recent weeks and are launching measures to keep rides safe.
Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong