Bolt South Africa has introduced two in-app security features – a trip monitoring tool and a driver alerts feature – in efforts to beef up security on its platform.
According to a statement, the new features are part of the e-hailing platform’s ongoing commitment to passenger and driver safety on the African continent.
These features provide real-time support through advanced trip monitoring tools and insightful alerts for drivers.
The trip monitoring feature includes Bolt monitoring the entire journey after a passenger has been picked up, says the company.
When a vehicle remains stationary for an extended period, Bolt says it takes a proactive approach by engaging with passengers and drivers in-app.
This feature not only confirms the well-being of everyone involved in the trip, but also provides a quick and easy way to access emergency services or request assistance.
Complementing this is the driver alerts feature, which equips drivers with information about upcoming trips, ensuring they can make informed decisions, particularly when driving to areas flagged for safety concerns.
Takura Malaba, regional manager, East and Southern Africa at Bolt, says: “Rolling out new trip safety monitoring features, as well as driver alerts, is the latest set of upgrades to our ongoing efforts to make it possible for drivers and passengers to seek support if they ever need it.”
Bolt has operations in seven African countries – South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Tunisia and 70 cities on the continent.
The past few years have seen e-hailing drivers hold nationwide protests, urging government to intervene in the increasing crime incidents they are subjected to, at the hands of criminals and rival metered taxi operators.
Since inception, the industry has been tainted by incidents of violent attacks, and in some instances, drivers being hijacked or killed by criminals masquerading as riders.
As an intervention to heighten safety on the platform, Bolt recently rolled out safety features such as the audio trip recording feature and a passenger verification feature that prompts passengers to take a selfie picture before they are able to place a ride-hailing order to enhance driver-passenger trust.
Bolt says it plans to roll out even more trip safety monitoring features, including route deviation and delayed ride completion offerings, as part of its ongoing investment and upgrades to safety features on the platform.