New features that will automatically check in with delivery workers and provide easier ways to report incidents that could impact the safety of both its customers and employees have been rolled out by DoorDash.

As the first line of defense, the company has introduced Safechat, an automated message monitoring system that can detect offensive or abusive language used within the app's chat function and issue a warning to whoever sent the message.

A gif displaying how SafeChat works on the DoorDash chat app. A customer has sent a message that says “You’re pissing me off, where is my order?!” which then leads to them being reported.
SafeChat will detect any offensive or abusive language used within its chat feature and allow delivery drivers to unassign themselves from the order to avoid in-person interaction.
Image: DoorDash

Once detected, DoorDash will give recipients the option to report the message, and couriers will be able to unassign themselves from the delivery. DoorDash drivers can use the in-app chat platform to report incidents during or after a delivery, as well as have the option to block future deliveries to offending customers.

To help delivery workers find the correct address at night, the app will remind customers to switch on their porch lights. In the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, Safechat, improved safety reporting, and porch light notifications are live.

While the food delivery service first introduced its in-app safety toolkit SafeDash last year, it is expanding that to include SafeDash Check-in. If the system discovers a delivery is taking longer than expected, it will ping delivery workers.

A gif displaying a DoorDash courier flagged by SafeDash for taking longer than expected, prompting them to update on their current situation.
DoorDash will send automated prompts to its couriers if it detects a delivery is taking too long, allowing them to call 911 or connect with an ADT agent.
Image: DoorDash

A message will appear on the employee's device if they enable it. If they don't respond within two minutes, a delivery worker will be contacted by an ADT agent who can help or call the police. Initially, SafeDash Check-in will be available in New York City and Washington DC. The new safety features are similar to the ones released by the company earlier this year, which include additional options for riders to contact the company, share trip status, or report a safety issue to the company.

DoorDash has a partnership with Samdesk, a global crisis detection platform, to alert merchants, employees, and customers of local emergencies. DoorDash will suspend operations and cancel deliveries in the affected area if there is an event like this. There will be real-time safety alert in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Allowing couriers to report and block any customers that endanger them without facing a penalty is a step forward, but there is only so much that technology can do to improve the safety of DoorDash delivery workers Delivery workers in New York City are often attacked by thieves who try to steal their e- bikes. Many workers have come to the conclusion that calling the police is not worth the time.