Didi Company just overhauled safety measures to deal with a public relations crisis as a airline stewardess was allegedly murdered by a driver using Didi Hitch carpooling service in China. The public are angry for the Didi carelessness of scrutiny for drivers and the App product features as the platform was rife with comments that marked female passengers as “goddesses” and “beauties.” Here are the measures as follow:
Firstly, removing all the personalized tags for Hitch carpooling service and the comment features. Making it more clearly for the Hitch passengers triggering the emergency alarm.
Secondly, making personal profiles and pictures only visible to the users themselves(PS: The passengers were even not able to see the tags of themselves making by the drivers while the drivers can choose the passengers by reviewing their tags. Such a design personally I believe is the stupidest, ever the most cunning design ideal).
Thirdly, requiring compulsorily drivers pass the facial recognition test for every Hitch trip while the orders placed from 10:00 p.m. to 06:00 a.m. will be halted. Both the driver and passengers will be given safety alert if the order probably will be finished after 10:00 p.m.
Here is the question. If you were the Didi product manager, do you think those safety measures are smart?
You may consider those measures disingenuous, even very cunning. Why they don’t just limited the number of order a driver can take per day since the Hitch carpooling service, to some extent, is for the social public welfare. But as a Didi product manager with salary, you should consider this service as profitable project as your boss told you.
According to the measures, we can make some inferences: firstly, the Hitch Carpooling service market is too big to just being limited if most of the drivers are working full time. Secondly, the Didi company did not pay much attention and resource to this project before so that the product manager had to design the feature in a tricky way to claim more resources. I am curious about their KPI or OKR. If they consider this project as a tone-down version of express service with a lower price and a lower lever of scrutiny, there is not doubt that more dispute between drivers and passengers will arise while the customer service is constrained.
So as I mentioned above, I believed the true problem is not about how the say no to bad drivers but about how to make it become a real sharing project like Airbnb. So I don’t believe the Hitch Carpooling service is a good project to Didi Company since somehow it will strike its normal express service adversely. It’s not necessary for the Didi company to rise the acceptance of drivers. Why not just let more drivers become the express driver while using some coupon for price discrimination
If Didi really want to explore the Hitch Carpooling service market, setting up a new subsidiary corporation as well as a new App probably is the best choice.