Go-jek, an Indonesian ride-hailing operator, recently informed its passengers in Singapore that it has allowed drivers to registers with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) to install inward-facing in-vehicle recording devices (IVRDs) in their cars. This makes the company the first private-hire service provider in Singapore to do so.
With revised guidelines coming into effect from July 15, drivers who currently have an unauthorized inward-facing IVRD will need to have them removed and apply for approval to install a permitted device from the LTA. The installation can only be carried out at one of the four installation centers in Singapore.
As per the updated guidelines, private-hire service providers such as ride-hailing firms, taxi operators, drivers who offer rides for payments, including those providing carpool services must obtain permission from LTA to install and use IVRDs.
Each set of inward-facing in-vehicle cameras apparently costs between SGD 600 and SGD 700 and drivers are liable for the cost, according to The Straits Times.
Recordings will only be kept for a maximum of seven days and only the Singapore Police Force and LTA have access to them.
Go-jek said it will inform passengers via an automated message if they get matched with an IVRD-equipped car. If they are uncomfortable being recorded during the ride, they will have to cancel the ride beforehand instead of requesting the drivers to switch it off.
The updated guidelines allow IVRDs to have both audio and video recording. Previously, cameras were only allowed to make video recordings, and audio recording was only allowed based on the assumption that it would help in dispute investigation, said The Straits Times.
Grab, Go-Jek’s closest competitor in Southeast Asia, has a slightly different stance in communicating the use of IVRDs to its drivers. Instead of approving them and encouraging drivers to enter the LTA registration process, Grab said it prohibits IVRDs unless the driver has prior approval from the LTA.
Currently, none of Grab’s cars are installed with IVRDs and taxi operators have yet to decide if they will install the recorders, The Straits Times reports.