Uber riders can now use verification PINs for extra safety

The ride verification PIN that Uber first introduced late last year in select markets is now available to all riders located in the United States and Canada. With this feature, users can choose to enable a PIN-based security feature that requires drivers to enter the right PIN in order to verify that they're who they say they are. The feature will help cut down on the risk of getting into the wrong car.

Because Uber drivers are ordinary people using their personal vehicles to operate on the Uber network, it is easier than usual to get into the wrong car. This issue is usually a minor embarrassment or annoyance, but there has been at least one instance in which it ended in tragedy.

Uber already provides information on the driver's car for users to verify that they're getting into the right vehicle. The rider may not take the time to verify the license plate number, however, which is where the PIN comes in. This feature involves a four-digit code that the rider enables and the driver enters as verification.

Users can enable this feature by opening the menu within the Uber app, then tapping "Settings." The new feature is found nestled between the other security options. When tapped, users are faced with a toggle switch for activating the feature, as well as the option of enabling the PIN verification requirement only for rides that take place from 9PM to 6AM.

The rider will see a unique PIN provided when they order the car. Once their ride arrives, the customer must provide the PIN to the driver who enters it into their own driver app. The PIN must be entered before the ride will officially start. This feature is optional.