DiDi Announces Safety Enhancement Plans After Murder of Passenger

After a flight attendant was allegedly killed by a DiDi Hitch driver during a night ride, the ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing published safety enhancement plans on May 16, stating that it will bear all relevant responsibilities regarding safety incidents including traffic accidents and criminal cases going forward.

Below are Didi’s safety enhancement plans:

Our phase-one safety enhancement plans

DiDi Hitch was taken down on 12A.M. May 12 for a safety overhaul. Based on our internal review and feedback from public discussions, we are implementing the following phase-one safety enhancement plans in the coming days for Hitch and all our mobility services. We will give utmost efforts to implementing these changes; and ask the public to monitor these programs continuously.

For DiDi Hitch:

  • All personalised tags and ratings features that are part of the Hitch service will be taken down.
  • Personal information and profile pictures of passengers and car-owners will be visible only to the individual himself or herself. All publicly-displayed profile pictures will be replaced with a system-generated default image.
  • Driver facial recognition will be made compulsory for every Hitch trip to minimize the risk of unapproved account use.
  • The Hitch service will be suspended between 2200H and 0600H every night as we evaluate passenger-driver safety guarantees for night-time trips. Passengers and car-owners who are on trips that begin earlier than 2200H and are expected to end after 2200H will receive special safety reminders before they set out.

The above measures will be fully implemented before the Hitch service resumes.

For all DiDi mobility services:

Currently, drivers are vetted through verification of personal ID, driver license and vehicle registration certificate, as well as a background check. Going forward:

  • A Zero Tolerance policy will be implemented to ensure driver-vehicle match. We ask every driver for DiDi Express, DiDi Premier and DiDi Luxe to pass a facial recognition test every day when they start service.
    A separate report & reward program will be created to encourage all users to report mismatch cases.
  • The Emergency Help function will be redesigned and be more prominently displayed in the app interface.
    Currently, once the Emergency Help button is clicked, real-time audio recording will start; a DiDi special customer service representative will start monitoring immediately and call back to follow up, and the trip information will be automatically shared with users’ emergency contacts.
    Going forward, under the Emergency Help function, users may now choose to connect directly from the emergency button to 110 (police), 120 (ambulance), 122 (traffic emergency hotline) as well as the DiDi 24/7 emergency helpline.
  • We are committed to fully taking our due legal responsibilities related to traffic accident, public security, criminal cases, and disputes on our platform.
    In DiDi’s existing safety protection mechanism, we offer, among others, protection of up to RMB 1.2 million that covers insurance, pre-payment for medical expenses, humanitarian aid in case of accidents, and special support in cases of sudden driver deaths. In addition, we will set up a support fund to offer continuous help and care to persons affected and their families, beyond the requirements of law.
    The above measures will be fully implemented by May 31st 2018. At the same time, we will expedite the full implementation of real-name registration across all mobility services. We plead for our valued drivers, car-owners and passengers to join us in helping make the services safer for all.
    We also earnestly seek comments and advice from the public on a number of unresolved challenges that we have been working on.
  • In most of driver-passenger disputes, we find the driver and passenger tend to insist upon their own account without being able to provide conclusive proof.
    This makes it very difficult to draw the lines of responsibilities in terms of dispute resolution, often leaving drivers and passengers with the impression that the platform is biased or not doing enough to resolve the issue.
    Among all the proposals we receive internally and from the public, one option is to voice-record every single ride in the future. [Users will be asked to give consent to this function prior to using the app]. This will help obtain evidence in case of disputes and determine responsibility.
    In such a proposal, to protect the privacy of drivers and passengers, the recordings will not be stored on personal mobile phones. They will be encrypted and stored on DiDi’s servers, to be deleted automatically after 72 hours.
    We understand that not everyone is comfortable with having their trips recorded. Additional user authorization may also be needed if in-vehicle video monitoring were to be introduced in the future.
    Nevertheless, this could be a most effective means to enhance safety standards, and to ensure adequate evidence support for potential dispute resolution. Would this be an acceptable solution in the eyes of our users?
  • At present, we work with law enforcement authorities to screen drivers through background checks – the principle being that those who have committed violence against persons, properties or public security be excluded from the platform.

However, we also wish to respect legal rights of individuals (such as the right to work). There are individuals who have served their terms for criminal offences that did not involve public security, or personal or property safety (such as copyright infringement). Should a ride-hailing or a Hitch service like DiDi give these individuals a chance to become drivers?

We will start proactive consultation sessions with relevant authorities and experts, beginning with these two unresolved issues; we would solicit your comments and insights on our official social media channels; and these consultation mechanisms will be made permanent. Thank you.

Didi Chuxing
May 16, 2018