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Technology

Teenagers in South Africa can now request rides on Uber

2400 uber application icon on black screen of smartphone with notebooks and cup of coffee

  • Uber South Africa now allows users between the ages of 13 and 17 to create teenage accounts, which need to be set up by a parent or legal guardian.
  • The ride-hailing company also added safety features like live trip tracking, minimum driver ratings, and spending limits.
  • Following the launch, all account holders in the region, including large cities in South Africa and small towns, will be able to create a paired profile for the specified age group.

At the launch, Kagiso Khaole, Uber Sub-Saharan Africa”s General Manager, stated that the newly introduced teen account was designed with transparency in mind, leaving no surprises for parents, teens, and drivers.

Creating an Uber account requires you to be at least 18 years old, but with the new development, people under 18 can now request rides through an account set up by a parent or guardian. 

A parent or guardian sends their teen an invite link to download the app, set up their new teen account, and complete the safety onboarding process. A PIN verification must be correctly entered before the ride can begin following pickup.

Parents and guardians will also receive push notifications throughout the trip. The teen’s profile is linked to the older person’s account, from which the trip’s billing is deducted. 

Teens’ Uber profiles display their date of birth, full name, and phone number. Meanwhile, the Uber teen account will not have all of Uber’s features on it.

The new development is open to highly rated drivers who have passed local screening and background checks. Drivers can also opt out of receiving teens.

Other safety features include the inability for drivers to change end destinations, an audio recording feature, the ability to flag down drivers when they veer off-route or are delayed, and the ability for parents/guardians to contact drivers and deny or cancel trips from their device.

Khaole emphasised the safety features, saying, “Whether their [partner or guardian] teen is getting a ride to an internship or heading home after football practice, parents will receive real-time notifications and can follow along with live trip-tracking every step of the way. We’re committed to helping keep teens safe and getting families moving.”


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