In an effort to improve the overall customer experience offered by its drivers in South Africa, e-taxi platform Bolt has introduced in-app driver scores and ride sharing features with drivers.
According to a statement, the new features are part of Bolt’s strategy to improve the quality and safety of drivers on the platform, giving them more control over their driving performance.
The Driver Score feature is a transparent metric that helps drivers better understand their performance, encourages improved driver habits and helps them deliver the best driving experience.
Previously, only passengers could rate drivers, based on the customer experience they received.
Earlier this year, Bolt riders launched an online petition, urging the company to properly vet its riders. This after a girl was allegedly raped by a Bolt driver, who was later arrested and charged with two counts of rape.
According to Bolt, the driver ride sharing feature adds an extra layer of safety for drivers. It will allow them to share a link with their real-time ride information.
The link can then be shared via email, SMS or through instant messaging apps, and allows any third party with access to the link to track and track the driver’s status and location in real time.
Takura Malaba, country manager of Bolt SA, explains: “Drivers are at the heart of our business, so we are constantly innovating to improve their experience on our platform. We believe drivers want to provide excellent passenger service.
“With the driver score feature, drivers can get constant feedback on their performance, which will help them improve. On the other hand, the driver trip sharing feature will deter people with potentially malicious intentions. against drivers on the Bolt platform. Overall, riders have the best chance of being matched with a driver who is committed to providing high quality service.
This week, Bolt rival Uber South Africa also introduced a new feature to boost security, with the launch of its in-app audio recording feature. The feature allows passengers and drivers to record the journey for evidence collection, in the event of a security incident.
In recent years, online drivers have staged nationwide protests in all provinces, urging the government to intervene in the growing wave of crimes against them. In other cases, runners expressed concerns about their safety, some were even reportedly stolen or violated by VTC drivers.
In 2018, Chinese email company DiDi Chuxing also introduced an on-board security function following the alleged murders of two female passengers by DiDi drivers.
According to Bolt, the link generated with the driver trip sharing functionality is valid for the duration of the current trip. Drivers must issue a new link for each trip if they deem it necessary. Previously, only customers could share their trip information with friends and family.
The driver score, the company notes, is calculated over the last 100 trips made by a driver. By default, a driver starts with the maximum possible score of 100 “good” trips. This score will decrease if the application detects behavior that is contrary to good practice or harmful to the cyclist.