Uber testing rider verification in Atlanta to quell safety concerns

The pilot program, rolled out in 14 other cities, seeks to give peace of mind to drivers and Uber users

The rideshare giant Uber has launched a rider verification program in Atlanta and 14 other cities as it seeks to build trust between drivers and users amid ongoing safety concerns.

To ensure users are who they claim to be, the company says it will cross-check riders’ account information that was provided during sign-up on the app with a third-party database.

Starting Thursday, some Uber users in Atlanta will automatically see a blue “verified” badge on their account information page, with no other actions needed. If the company is not able to confirm a user’s identity, riders will have the option to upload a driver’s license, passport, national identity card, or other form of government-issued documentation. Uber says users should receive an email and in-app communications about the new verified badge.

On its website, Uber says the program’s goal is to create a “safe and trusted place to ride and drive.”

“This new verified rider badge builds off of our current verification processes, helps deter fraudulent behavior, and adds another layer of trust, safety, and peace of mind for drivers and all Uber platform users,”

The pilot is also rolling out in Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Nashville, and New Orleans, among other U.S. cities. The company says it has plans to expand the program to other locations soon.

For years, Uber has been dogged by safety issues and concerns about scams from users and drivers alike.

The company’s most recent safety report released in 2022 shows there were 3,824 incidents of sexual assault and misconduct reported through the Uber app. The report covered the years 2019 and 2020.

Recently, Atlanta police have warned users of Uber and other services to be wary of people posing as rideshare drivers at Hartsfield-Jackson International, according to an 11Alive investigation.

Before drivers can begin working with Uber, the company says it screens for a wide range of issues, including offenses for driving under the influence and violent behavior, among other transgressions. The company also requires that drivers clear an annual driving and criminal history check to continue serving passengers through the app.