Uber to allow customers to order better drivers

Uber plans to give customers the choice of selecting a better rated driver. (Reuters)
Updated 23 January 2018

Uber to allow customers to order better drivers

LONDON: Uber is planning to offer its customers the ability to opt for a better driver when booking their trip, according to the ride-sharing app’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he said that currently customers only have the ability to request a better standard of car via their app rather than a better standard of service.
“We plan to do much more with driver ratings. What we are hoping to take the system into next [is ]… to be able to have the drivers who are particularly good, who particularly provide a terrific service be at a different level from the average driver, and also allow the user to opt into a higher level of service.
“Right now the only higher level of service we define is a nicer car, and the car and service are two different things,” he said.
His comments come as the ride-sharing company faces criticism for not doing adequate background checks on drivers following a number of high-profile cases where some drivers have been accused of assaulting their customers.

Concerns about safety have in part led to the ride-sharing service being banned from operating in some cities. Uber lost its license in London last year, a decision the company is in the process of appealing.
Khosrowshahi said: “We are doubling down on making sure that the machinery of background checks and making sure that licenses are good, inspecting the vehicles,” he said.
“We don’t mess around with ratings, so when you get a 4.8 or 4.9 rated driver you know they have passed an array of background checks, you know that driver has a history … that is much more information than you have when you hail a cab on the corner in New York City.”
He added that it was important to be careful in representing a driver rating for what it is.
“It is rating for how you drove, it is not a rating about whether you are a serial killer or not. We have to be plain spoken for what we can do and what we can’t do,” he said.
He added that the company was working with data scientists working to make the platform safer for both riders and drivers.

Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

Updated 20 January 2019

Saudi Arabia and UAE launch a new joint cryptocurrency

  • The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages
  • The program will also help the two countries evaluate the monetary policies of a centralized currency

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have launched a joint cryptocurrency during the first meeting of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination council Saturday in Abu Dhabi, UAE’s national press agency WAM said.

The cryptocurrency will be limited to banks during its first stages, until the governments have a better understanding of how Blockchain technology operates cross-borders.

The currency operates on the use of a “distributed database between the central banks and the participating banks from both sides,” aiming to protect customer interests, set technology standards and assess cybersecurity risks. The new program will also help evaluate the impacts of a central currency on monetary policies.

During the meeting, representatives of Saudi Arabia and the UAE also signed the Joint Supply Chained Security Cooperation program, which tests the two countries abilities to provide vital supplies during times of crisis and national emergencies, as well as share expertise and knowledge in the field.

All 16 members of the executive committee of the council followed up on the execution of the initiatives mentioned in the Strategy of Resolve.

Representatives also set five other initiatives to enhance the cooperation between the two countries, such as facilitating the traffic between ports, improving airports to make it easier for people with disabilities to travel, creating a financial awareness program for children aged 7-18, starting a joint platform to support local SMEs, and the integration of civil aviation markets,

The committee was headed by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Gergawi, minister of cabinet of affairs and the future of UAE, and Mohammed bin Mazyad Al-Twaijri, minister of economy and planning in Saudi. The committee will also monitor the implementation of the initiatives.