While Uber car service has had its share of horror stories in the past, it is really throwing some cash at the problem in India.
Last year a driver in the Uber car service network in India was accused of raping a passenger. The resulting image problem for Uber led to some security features being added to the app that are exclusive to the India market. These include tougher background checks for drivers, an SOS button on the app, as well as a feature that sends the driver’s details to five contacts that the passenger chooses, likely closest family members.
Allen Penn, Uber’s head of Asia Operations told The Hindustan Times of the improvements, “We have invested heavily in India, in monetary terms, and also in the development of our technological leadership team for India. We have been learning and figuring a lot of things here. It’s an interesting market and it has played an important role in designing our technology roadmap. We will take most of the features that have been tested and pioneered here to the markets of Uber globally.”
This kind of development has meant a huge chunk of money invested by Uber.
“We have invested over a billion dollars in India where our business is growing over 30-40%, month-on-month,” Penn said.
Uber is facing stiff competition in India from rival service Ola.
RT @jonrussell Ola, Uber’s biggest rival in India, just raised $400M — targets 200 cities end of 2015 http://t.co/usjtKkC1X4 #digital #Asia
— Nguyen Trieu Khang (@Knguyentrieu) April 20, 2015
Uber car service started operations in India in 2013. There are now more than 15,000 drivers in the country.
The security concerns and investment in India follow other horror stories that Uber has had to combat. While the tales are certainly few and far between, customers are still wary in some areas.