Uber wants riders to sanitize the backseat to help fight coronavirus

Uber wants riders to sanitize the backseat to help fight coronavirus


Facial masks must now be worn by drivers and passengers while driving.

James Martin / CNET

For the latest news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the WHO website.

When passengers call an Uber in certain cities, they are now prompted with a new prompt telling them that disinfectant wipes are available while traveling. Through a partnership with Clorox, Uber announced on Tuesday that hundreds of thousands of canisters with the cleaning company’s wipes will be distributed to the drivers. Uber also tells the drivers which surfaces in the car should be cleaned before and after each trip.

The initiative comes from the appearance of novel coronavirus cases in many parts of the United States. As of Tuesday, the country had more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Despite the increase in cases, many states continue to open after accommodation orders have been lifted in recent weeks.

“As we navigate a new normal and cities continue to reopen, we want all Uber users to travel with confidence. It starts with clean cars,” Uber wrote in a blog post Tuesday. “Cleanliness is a shared responsibility, and drivers should also strive to clean up the frequently touched areas in the rear of the vehicle to create a cleaner environment for themselves, the driver, and the next passenger.”

Last month Uber has released a new version of his app focused on security policies related to the novel corona virus. In the updated app, drivers and passengers must agree to a checklist with elements before each trip, e.g. B. confirm that they are wearing a face mask, if possible keep the windows down and no one is sitting in the front seat.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people be confined to strangers like a car to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection.

Uber drivers say they have had a difficult time during the pandemic. Many have reported that they have COVID-19 and at least five are known to have died from the disease.

Uber said it spent $ 50 million buying cleaning supplies and masks to protect drivers. However, some drivers have said that these items are difficult to get. When drivers receive them, they say that supplies are often limited and do not last long.

With its new initiative with Clorox, Uber has announced that the wipes will be more readily available. As of July, Uber will distribute a total of 600,000 canisters of cloth to drivers in three selected cities: Atlanta, Chicago and New York. Each city will continue to receive 200,000 canisters a month.

Uber recommends drivers focus on cleaning the front seat, including the steering wheel, gear shift, cup holder and door handles. And the company suggests that passengers wipe certain touch-sensitive surfaces in the back seat, including seat belt buckles, window regulators, and door handles.

If a driver does not have the disinfectant wipes, the driver will not receive the in-app notification before being picked up. Uber said that after piloting in the first three cities, it may expand to other cities across the country.

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