Also starting Monday, Uber will limit the number of passengers allowed to book a regular vehicle from four to three, and ask riders to only sit in the back.
Uber Technologies Inc. outlined new safety procedures at a virtual event on May 13, a move aimed to inspire more drivers and riders to feel comfortable getting in a shared vehicle again.
So get your masks on and hail an Uber, knowing that the app is keeping careful watch over everything. "Our new technology will verify the driver is wearing a mask or face covering and let the rider know when the driver is en route".
Last month, the company, which is still not profitable, withdrew its financial forecast for 2020 and said it would write down about $2 billion in investments due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As for whether Uber would provide financial assistance to drivers requiring cleaning products, Sachin Kansal did not give a direct answer, but said the company's response was "constantly evolving".
The company said both drivers and riders can cancel trips without penalty if they don't feel safe, such as if either isn't wearing a face cover.
"Everyone must take proper precautions not only to protect yourself but also the driver and the next person getting in the auto after", Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said during a virtual press conference.
These additional safety measures will come into effect on 18th May as previously mentioned and will continue to be enforced until the end of June when they will be reviewed alongside guidance from health officials.
"By no means are we encouraging people to go out of their homes", Kansal said.
Uber said it was committing an additional United States dollars 50 million to buy masks and sanitising supplies and would update its app with a safety checklist and other tools for both riders and drivers. "This is not just a driver's responsibility, not just a rider's responsibility, not just the delivery partner's responsibility".
Announcing Uber's new and more stringent safety measures, Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations, Uber India SA said: "The safety of everyone who uses our platform is a priority and we ordered millions of masks and sanitizers in the early stage of the pandemic".