How can the ride-hailing industry overcome the risks and keep their passengers safe?
The ride-sharing industry is growing by leaps and bounds. Pick any country and you will find multiple providers there, even a small country like Pakistan has several ride-sharing companies including Careem, which enjoys a good market share in the Middle East.
Another company that has found great acceptance is Grab, which is available in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. This Singapore-based ride-hailing platform enjoys a monopoly in several regions thanks to its acquisition of Uber’s Southeast Asian operations.
However, despite this, the industry is not as strong as it should be. Passengers still prefer to drive their own cars than to opt for ride-sharing, which is affordable but risky.
Grab was recently under fire when a single mother accused a Grab driver of sexual misconduct. Surprisingly, such instances are not rare and Grab is not the only company that has come under the radar.
Last year, there were rumors of Uber investing in 1,000 unsafe vehicles. Such practices make passengers feel unsafe hence they like to give ridesharing a miss.
Things are not this way only in Singapore and neighboring countries. Ridesharing-related incidents are common in America, Europe, and Australia as well. A woman in Sydney recently complained of a driver assaulting her. Such instances get wide media coverage and force even more people to opt for alternatives.
Companies realize this and are working towards providing passengers with a safe option. The truth is that the potential is huge and if companies can provide people with a safe ride-sharing option, people will most probably jump at it.
Ridesharing presently accounts for only 1% of the total miles covered in the US. Things are not very different in other parts of the world.
DACSEE, a blockchain-based ride-hailing platform, is trying to change the image of ride-sharing platforms. It offers a decentralized system that promises to make ridesharing transparent and safe for all passengers.
Here’s how DACSEE, shortened for Decentralized Alternative Cabs Serving & Empowering Everyone, plans to do it:
Passengers Can Choose a Driver
According to reports, most ridesharing assault victims are women. A Grab driver was last year sentenced for sexual assault after the company joined hands with the authorities to help find the culprit. However, not all companies are willing to provide the help when needed. Uber was recently in news for trying to silence women who claimed sexual abuse.
Such news keeps women away from ridesharing, which is a big concern for companies since safety is important. Plus, women make more than half of the population. Keeping this in mind, DACSEE allows female passengers to choose female drivers if they feel unsafe with a male driver.
This is different from Shebah, a women-owned ride-sharing platform that only caters to women. Shebah has been criticized for giving the wrong message to the world.
DACSEE, however, works differently. It does not exercise gender bias. It caters to all passengers and provides them the option to choose a driver that they’re more comfortable with.
Passengers have been asking for such a service for a while now and DACSEE is the first company to officially introduce this option.
A Reliable Recommendation and Feedback System
Almost all ride-sharing platforms have a feedback system where passengers can leave a rating based on their experience to help other passengers understand how good or bad a driver is.
DACSEE also has a feedback system but with a twist. It does not only allow you to leave feedback but also lets you leave recommendations or suggestions so that your friends have no difficulty in finding a reliable driver. Passengers can choose a ‘recommended’ driver to feel at ease.
A Strong Scanning System
Grab is having a difficult time in finding drivers. According to the latest reports, the company only has about 35,000 drivers to serve 600,000 bookings per day. The number of drivers is declining at a rapid pace, which many say is pushing the company towards hiring inexperienced and unreliable drivers.
However, such is not the case with DACSEE where each driver is carefully scanned and hired only if he or she gets the approval from the head of a designated driver community, as described in the DACSEE whitepaper.
Other than this, the company also offers an emergency button in case a passenger feels unsafe. Passengers can press the button and it will send a signal to the nearest authority.
The company hopes that the introduction of such features will make people feel protected and comfortable and increase the company’s market share, especially since it’s also more affordable than other platforms.