Don’t be duped by fake rideshare drivers, safety campaign urges

While the chances of something awful happening on your Uber or Lyft ride are small, the chances of something bad happening in a car that you thought was your ridesharing vehicle are likely to be somewhat higher.

In a bid to remind riders that getting into the correct vehicle is the first step to ensuring a safe ride, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon has launched an awareness campaign highlighting a few simple steps every passenger should take before their journey begins.

Working with the city’s police department and Uber, which is headquartered in San Francisco, Gascon’s campaign advises riders to always verify the license plate number, color, make, and model of their rideshare car by checking it with the information shown in the app. If anything is amiss, don’t get in.

Secondly, it says you should always confirm your driver’s name, and make sure they know the name of the person they’re collecting — yes, that’s you. Another check worth making is that the driver matches the photo shown on your rideshare app.

Finally, the safety campaign strongly suggests that you always share details of your trip — including your pick-up location and destination — with a friend or member of your family.

“[Rideshare] services generally operate effectively, but they can be manipulated to attract unsuspecting victims,” Gascon said in a release. “Together, we can take steps to create a safer experience for a service so many rely on.”

An Uber spokesperson told Digital Trends it was excited to be working with the District Attorney’s office on the campaign, adding that while there are safety features in the Uber app, “they’ll only work if you are in the car that is assigned to you through the app. If someone is in the wrong car, they won’t know who their driver is and neither will Uber.”

Bogus rideshare drivers

Although rare, there have been a number of cases in the U.S. and beyond where passengers have been assaulted by individuals posing as rideshare drivers.

The bogus drivers often wait outside places in busy entertainment areas, with the unsuspecting passenger entering the vehicle believing it’s the ride they’ve booked.

Earlier this year, NBC News reporter Jeff Rossen posed as a fake Uber driver in Los Angeles to show how riders climb into cars without making the proper checks first. Numerous people who’d booked an Uber ride entered his car at various points throughout the evening, whereupon Rossen revealed the truth.

But ridesharing companies also have to deal with issues of trust and safety within their own services, with occasional rogue drivers at risk of giving a bad name to the vast majority of decent people who drive the vehicles.

To ensure peace of mind among passengers, ridesharing companies have gradually been adding safety features to their ridesharing apps. While ensuring the security of riders is vital if a ridesharing service is to succeed, Uber has pointed out in the past that in-car issues can also occur with riders being abusive to drivers.

Cars

Volvo wants to build a future in which you can’t wait to commute to work

Volvo's futuristic 360c concept embodies the changes sweeping across the automotive industry. It's electric, fully autonomous, and connected. The firm wants to start a conversation about the role self-driving cars will play in the future.
Cars

End your dependence on fossil fuels with one of these amazing electric cars

Electric cars are getting smarter, safer, and more capable with each passing year. Here are our picks for the best electric cars on the market, whether you're looking for a performance ride or a family-friendly crossover.
Cars

Lyft offers some fun stats to celebrate its 1 billionth ridesharing journey

Lyft cars have made a billion journeys since its ridesharing service launched six years ago. Announcing the milestone on Tuesday, September 18, the company revealed a few fun stats about its rides so far.
Product Review

It looks like a concept, but the Lexus LC500 is very much a real-life stunner

The LC500 sports car combines exotic looks, a raucous V8 engine, sumptuous interior, and responsive steering to make one of the most compelling Lexus-badged models ever and one of the sexiest vehicles on sale.
Cars

We get up close with the Vision iNext concept to learn about BMW’s future

Through a massive worldwide campaign that visits various major cities around the world, we get our exclusive opportunity to get up close and personal with BMW’s latest Vision iNEXT Concept to learn about automaker’s future plans.
Product Review

Alfa Romeo delivers the quintessential Italian high-performance SUV

Alfa’s Romeo’s Ferrari-powered sport utility delivers hair-raising straight-line performance, admirable capability in the corners, and head-turning style, but comes up a bit short in a few key areas.
Smart Home

Amazon reportedly will introduce an Alexa-enabled microwave, amp, and more

Amazon's Fall 2018 Alexa device rollout is about to begin, sources say. Look for an Alexa microwave, an amplifier, receiver, and subwoofer, and an Alexa voice-responsive device for your car. Amazon is maximizing its voice-command presence.
Cars

Elon Musk: Tesla is bringing most collision repair in-house, outsiders too slow

Dissatisfied with third-party collision repair shops, Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter to announce the firm is bring most repair work in-house. The goal is a car as good or better than new with repair completed in under an hour.
Cars

Audi is finally taking the wraps off its Tesla-fighting e-tron electric SUV

The 2019 Audi e-tron is an electric SUV aimed at the Tesla Model X, Jaguar I-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz EQC. It's Audi's first mass-market electric car, but will it make a good first impression?
Cars

Volkswagen built a 210-mph Jetta, and broke a land-speed record with it

A modified 2019 Volkswagen Jetta just set a land-speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the G/BGC class. Boasting a 600-horsepower engine, the Jetta hit 210 mph on the salt.
Emerging Tech

Smart sound system will give every car passenger their own wireless audio stream

Can't agree on what to listen to in the car? Imagine if each passenger could get their own way, courtesy of a personal audio stream — no headphones required. Sounds impossible, but it's almost here.
Emerging Tech

No more scraping? Anti-frosting advance could mark end of frozen windshields

Hate frozen windshields in winter? Researchers at Virginia Tech may have found a way to banish them for good, thanks to the world’s first passive anti-frosting surface. Here's how it works.
Cars

Ferrari’s latest special editions are stripped down, old-school sports cars

The Ferrari Monza SP1 and SP2 are inspired by some of the Italian automaker's most legendary sports cars. They mix old school rawness with modern carbon fiber construction and 789-horsepower V12 power.
News

Lucid Motors accepts $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabian fund

The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia will invest $1 billion in upstart electric car company Lucid Motors. Lucid hopes to launch a Tesla-fighting luxury sedan called the Air by 2020.