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China’s Didi restricts some rides to same-sex drivers

It’s a new safety measure following the murder of a Hitch passenger.
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Carlos Jasso / Reuters

Last month, a passenger using Didi Chuxing's carpooling service Hitch was allegedly killed by a driver using his father's account. Since then, the company has been rolling out new safety measures for its ridesharing platforms including updates to its emergency help feature and making driver facial recognition verification mandatory for each Hitch trip. Didi also stopped allowing Hitch trips between the hours of 10PM and 6AM as it considered additional measures. Now, Reuters reports, the company is extending its hours but will only allow late-night and early-morning rides between drivers and passengers of the same sex.

The hours of operation will now be from 5AM to 12AM, but from 5AM to 6AM and 10PM to 12AM, drivers can only pick up passengers of their own sex. Additionally, Didi is also reportedly planning to test an "escort guardian mode" later this month that will let passengers share their route with their emergency contacts.

Didi Chuxing, a Chinese firm, recently began making moves into North America. It started recruiting drivers in Mexico this April and received a permit last month to test its self-driving cars in California.

Update: Text updated to reflect the correct name of Didi's guardian mode.

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