Contactless, wearables and Uber: The technology trends of 2014
Uber returns to New Delhi as a licensed radio cab companyReuters

Taxi app Uber returns to New Delhi as a licensed radio cab firm, a month after it was banned from the Indian capital following the alleged rape of a passenger by one of its drivers.

Delhi's transport department banned Uber and other app-based taxi services operating without a license after a woman claimed she was raped by a driver she had booked using the Uber app.

Upon its return, Uber has changed its business model in the city, having applied to become a licensed radio taxi operator. Until now, Uber had insisted it was not a radio cab company, but instead an app-based technology service which connects drivers with passengers.

The company has to now comply with New Delhi's radio cab rules, which mean it must have a fleet of at least 200 vehicles, a 24-hour call centre and panic buttons in every vehicle.

Claiming its customers "eagerly" wanted Uber back on New Delhi's streets, the company said in a statement it had applied for a license under the Radio Taxi Scheme "to reflect our commitment to providing riders with more options for safe and reliable transportation, including the ability to request a Radio Taxi on-demand."

It is understood that Uber cannot restart its services until the license has been granted, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Uber says its change in business strategy and work engaging with local authorities "ultimately puts the safety of consumers first, while recognising the power of new technologies like Uber that will make city transportation safer."

To further improve safety, Uber says only drivers who have undergone re-verification of their police clearance in the last six weeks will be allowed to use the service. Uber's Chhavi Leekha added: "For an additional layer of screening, we are implementing independent background checks on all driver partners, plus vehicle documentation reviews."