Driver-partners are asked to take a selfie in the Uber app before they accept rides.

Jojo Puthuparampil is a business news writer for Inc. Arabia.

In an effort to improve safety for both drivers and riders, ride-hailing firm Uber has launched a ‘driver verification’ feature for its fleet in Saudi Arabia.

The technology feature works by prompting drivers to share a selfie to ensure the driver using the app matches the account profile Uber has on file.

Drivers are asked to take a selfie in the Uber app before they accept rides.

Uber then uses Microsoft’s Cognitive Services to instantly compare this photo to the one corresponding to the account on file.

If the two photos do not match, the account is temporarily blocked while the company looks into the situation.

‘Driver verification’ is the latest safety feature to be rolled out by Uber in the region, following a trial in the US last year.

In the US, technology has managed to verify more than 99% of drivers in a pilot program. The feature is also being rolled out to other MENA markets including the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt.