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India proposes rules to regulate ridesharing apps

India has proposed a set of rules aimed at regulating ridesharing apps such as Uber. The rules will see the tech companies operate more like traditional taxi fleets, a move which will probably please other taxi companies in the country.

India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways released the guidelines proposal, which suggests all cars run by these companies should have an emergency button and an in-app feature to call the police.

The companies are also advised to conduct in-depth criminal background checks on all potential drivers, and form 24/7 call centres. They should also have branded vehicles, as well as a meter to track the distance travelled and the passenger fee.

Ridesharing company Ola commented on the proposal: “We welcome the advisory from the Ministry of Road Transport and we believe this is a major step towards positively impacting the ecosystem and its stakeholders, that technology platforms like ours have created. We will continue to work with the government, under the aegis of this progressive directive, offering our complete support and commitment towards building mobility for a billion people.”

Uber is yet to make a comment.

The American ride-sharing company has had a rough ride in India. After the rape of a female passenger by an Uber driver, the company implemented privacy and in-app safety measures, but it still faces backlashes in form of police investigations and bans.

Both Uber and Ola have had their applications for radio taxi licences rejected, Tech Crunch says, but they’ve been able to work around these roadblocks.