Uber, Lyft implement new safety measures

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Uber and Lyft instituted new safety features and policies this week.

The move follows the death of Samantha Josephson, a student at the University of South Carolina, who was kidnapped and murdered in late March. She was found dead after getting into a vehicle that she believed to be her Uber ride. The murder, which has garnered nationwide media attention, seems to have spurred action by the ride sharing behemoths.

In response, Uber is launching the Campus Safety Initiative, which includes new features in the app. Currently, the features are in testing, and they remind riders to check the license plate, make, and model of the car, as well as the driver’s name and picture, before ever entering into a vehicle. The test is running in South Carolina, in partnership with the University of South Carolina, with plans to roll out nationwide.

Lyft, which went public on March 29, has implemented continuous background checks for drivers this week. (Uber has had in place since last year.) Lyft also enhanced its identify verification process for drivers, which combines driver’s license verification and photographic identity verification to prevent driver identify fraud on the platform.

Uber, prepping to debut on the public market,