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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 (opens in new tab), 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.

Sead Fadilpašić
Sead Fadilpašić

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.