Ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行) will resume part of its night-time Hitch services (顺风车) on June 15, allowing drivers picking up same-sex passengers only.
According to the company statement, Hitch services will resume during 10 p.m. to 24 p.m. and 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. only and drivers can only pick up passengers of the same gender. To improve safety measures, the platform will first beta test later this month a route sharing function in a small group of users where the trip route can be automatically shared with passengers’ emergency contacts. The platform will track the route intervene when emergencies occur. There will also be an information sharing scheme where passengers and drivers can view each other’s information before the passenger set foot in the vehicle.
The company will also evaluate the feasibility of real-time audio recording in the company’s other types ride-hailing services and consider whether or not to push the function nationwide. This function was already launched for Hitch services in May. The recording starts when passengers click the in-app help button and Didi will start monitoring.
Didi has suspended night-time road sharing service since May 16 to re-valuate the risks of night-time trips and the entire Hitch services had been suspended for a week after a female passenger was murdered by her driver when using the service in earlier that month.
Unlike regular ride-hailing services, Didi Hitch group people who are heading to smilier directions and the ride costs passengers a lot less. Usually the passengers just cover their share of fuel costs. Before the notorious murder, the Hitch function was viewed as a social media platform and drivers can comment on the passengers personalities and physical attractiveness, many of which were disrespectful towards female passengers.