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DoorDash introduces new safety features for riders, including reduced notifications • TechCrunch

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Delivery company DoorDash is introducing new features for riders, including reduced notifications, a request for customers to not text them while they are on a trip and messaging promoting one-tap replies.

DoorDash is updating its iOS app (for iOS 15 or above) to reduce notifications sent to delivery partners while they are on the way. They will only get some notifications like a change to the delivery address, messages from their customer or if an order has been reassigned after being timed out during a trip. Other notifications will be muted and delivery partners can only see them when they indicate they have reached their destination.

The company is rolling out this feature to all riders across the globe using iPhones with plans to extend it to Android in the coming months.

DoorDash will also update customers with a prompt requesting them to not text delivery people while they are driving. The company is not really showing customers if the delivery partner is currently driving. The prompt will just tell users to be mindful by saying “Please note your Dasher may be driving and be delayed in their response.”

Image Credits: DoorDash

The company is soon piloting a one-tap messaging system for delivery folks as well. Just like smart replies on Gmail or LinkedIn messages, riders will get easy prompts like “I’m on my way to the store” or “I’m waiting for your order.” Notably, Uber rolled out a similar system for drivers back in 2018.

What’s more, DoorDash is introducing a simpler way to decline an order that requires fewer taps. Delivery partners can also wait for the order acceptance timer to run out to not take an order.

Image Credits: DoorDash

For new delivery partners joining the platform, the company has introduced a feature to perform a demo delivery at their own place to understand the flow of the service. This process walks the delivery people from accepting the order to completing a delivery so they can get familiar with the app before starting real-world deliveries.

“By showing them exactly what to expect in the app, we’re setting the stage for an ever better — and more importantly — even safer first dash. Now, Dashers will have the opportunity to go through a short demo order in their Dasher app as part of their sign-up process,” the company said in a blog post.

DoorDash said that last year it partnered with telematics provider Cambridge Mobile Telematics(CMT) to give drivers access to the DriveWell Go app. It provided participating drivers insights on areas like speed, distance traveled and braking during their riding. The company said that it is still evaluating data from the pilot in the U.S. to provide feedback to drivers.

Image Credits: Doordash

DoorDash rolled out another safety update for riders last November that included features like checking on the delivery partner if the delivery is taking longer than expected and an option to unassign themselves if a customer used foul language in chat. This was an extension of the SafeDash toolkit for riders, which was launched in 2021.

The safety of delivery people is a growing concern across the world as more people are relying on them to get food, grocery and e-commerce orders. In India, riders have complained about their safety and often gotten into accidents to meet the mounting pressure of delivery orders to earn incentives. However, there has been hardly any legislative interventions for the riders. On the other hand, Europe has been pushing reforms that could give gig workers protection like insurance and safety. The U.S. has also multiple proposals lined up aiming to give gig workers more rights.

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