Regulatory bodies all over the world have recently been pushing back against ride-sharing firms.
There are two major reasons for this: concern over safety and unfair competition.
Uber is under fire in the UK and in California in the US, and faces being blocked from trying to acquire Careem in Qatar.
Uber and newcomer Ola are often in the glare of the spotlight in India over safety precautions.
Both of the ride-sharing giants have set up a number of digital security measures to allow passengers to be connected to an emergency response team and emergency services.
Passengers can also share details of their journey live with friends and family.
Safety measures initiated by Ola include getting drivers to send random selfies to ensure that they are the driver who was licensed to take the journey.
Clear photographs of the drivers are also included in many such apps to reassure passengers that the driver is who they say they are.
In the United Arab Emirates, customer safety in RTA taxis has never been much of an issue due to the background checks and precautions taken by the authority.
RTA taxis come with two cameras – one is aimed at the driver and the other is pointed at the passengers.
The interior of the cars also feature metal plates featuring the taxi’s licence plate number and an emergency contact number.
This means that customers only have to pick up their phone to make a complaint if anything is wrong.
The response time has also been very quick, according to SME10X tests.
However, ensuring the physical safety of customers is only one issue.
Another issue is the job safety and benefits that employees can receive.
The companies call these employees ‘freelance drivers’, and there is pushback all over the world, including in the UAE, over difficult and unfair conditions.
These problems include the percentage of the cut that drivers can expect to receive as well as the hours that they have to work to make a living.
Uber and Careem drivers in the UAE are reportedly having to do shifts of as long as 20 hours just to earn enough money to be able to support their households.
RTA drivers are also trained and tested by the authority before they are hired – this helps to ensure that customers as well as other road users are safe with their drivers.
According to SME10X, RTA drivers never work longer than 10-hour shifts.
Anyone who drives any kind of motor vehicle in the UAE is legally obligated to have car insurance.
This also applies to RTA drivers and those who work in any ride-sharing firm.
Car insurance helps to protect drivers from the financial consequences that could arise as a result of a car accident.
This can also include damages to another vehicle as a result of an accident that is the driver’s fault.
Why safety is a priority for ride-sharing appsCar insurance also helps in the event of a motor vehicle being stolen.