Uber has rolled out a new safety feature in Australia to ensure you're getting in the right car – months after Ola went live with a similar option

Uber and Ola have released a pin code feature on their apps. Image: Getty.
  • Uber and Ola have released safety features that require you to use a pin number before you start your trip.
  • Ola released the ‘Start Code’ feature and Uber rolled out its PIN feature.
  • They help you verify that you’re getting in the right vehicle.

Ever worry that you’re jumping into the wrong Uber?

Today, Uber has launched a safety feature that helps you make sure you’re getting into the right car.

Uber riders now the option of receiving a four-digit PIN code to give their drivers before starting a trip. It’s an extra layer to verify you’re getting in the right vehicle and your driver is picking up the right person. The PIN safety feature can be turned on at any time.

To access it, you have to go into your app settings and select “Verify Your Rides”. You can then choose whether you want the PIN feature on every trip or just during night trips (between 9pm and 6am).

Image: Uber

You’ll then get a four-digit code when a driver is on their way to pick you up. Once the driver arrives, you need to tell them the pin number. The driver then has to enter the pin and is notified in the app that it’s a match.

Uber also says that when you have the feature, a trip can’t start until the right pin is entered into the driver’s app.

Ola also launched its passcode feature in Australia this month

Uber’s move comes after Ola rolled out its “Start Code” feature in Australia this month, following a trial in Adelaide. With Start Code, passengers get a unique four-digit, one-time passcode after booking a trip on Ola. When the car arrives, the passenger tells the driver the code. The driver then has to enter it into the app when the car is stationary.

While Ola’s app is also designed to match the right passenger to the right vehicle, it also serves another purpose: to prevent fraud.

“The Start-Code function prevents drivers from starting the ride without their passenger in the car, resulting in users being charged for rides not taken, with the feature effectively eliminating a fraud problem that has been previously unsolved across the entire rideshare industry,” Ola said in a statement.

Both rideshare companies have been rolling out more safety features over the past few months. Ola unveiled its “Guardian feature” which notifies drivers and riders when there is unusual vehicle behaviour. Likewise, Uber launched its ‘Ridecheck’ feature which also alerts you when something goes wrong during a trip.

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