#ITforParivahan : Ride-Safe @nitin_gadkari , @MORTHIndia , @vinit_goenka , @TVMohandasPai
#ITforParivahan is a government initiative to crowd source ideas for use of IT in transportation.
Ride-Safe, is my idea for ensuring the safety of women in public transport. It is a comprehensive, personalized, modernized and extended take on the emergency safety chains found in all Indian train compartments. Should you have ideas for improving my idea, please be sure to comment them below. Ride-Safe is my submission to #ITforParivahan.
Ride-Safe calls for: 1)A physical SOS button on cell phones,2)An electronic number plate on all vehicles used in public transport And 3)A remotely operated vehicle slow-down unit in all vehicles used in public transport.
The SOS Button on Cell Phones:
The physical SOS Button will be a finger print recognizer pad ,to be used for inputting distress signals.Today cheap Chinese smartphones that are priced under Rs1100,various Samsung and LG models and some Lenovo tabs unlock via finger print recognition on the front screen. These don’t require laser scanning as ordinary finger print scanners. So there is no give-way light when they are used to input SOS signals in the form of finger-prints.As this feature is found in inexpensive models, these finger print recognizers are unlikely to be prohibitively expensive and so cell phones with this feature need not be so expensive as to be unaffordable to the largest number of women .
Finger print recognisers are to be placed on the back top corner of phones, such that they are easily reachable by the index finger. They can be camouflaged to look like camera lenses or flash bulbs.
The SOS Button,on pressing, returns a mild shock, felt like tingling. This is to alert a person, if they press the pad by mistake, to remove their finger and not transmit false alarms. Also, the use of finger print recognizer pads, instead of ordinary physical buttons, eliminates the possibility of false alarms from accidental repeat presses of this button, when phones are stored in purses, pockets etc. with other items.
Three successive presses of the SOS button, despite the mild tingling in between each press, is interpreted as a distress signal.Finger prints ensure that signallers are uniquely identifiable, so it discourages pranksters giving false alarms.
I have spoken to product designers in ASUS, who say SOS button is easily doable. If one phone manufacturer can, others can too.
The advantage of this physical SOS button, over all the apps for women’s safety, currently available in India today, is that the phone doesn’t have to be unlocked and the app accessed, before transmitting distress signals when necessary. Hence making signalling for help faster and safer.
The Electronic Number Plate:
An electronic number plate of the type made by Compliance Innovations
and being evaluated by the California Government(Link
),to be mandatory on all vehicles used in public transport. These number plates are to have information of the type currently found in plates being trialled in the UK (Link
).This information from the number-plates, is to be mandatorily readable at all times, by all communication devices such as smartphones close by. This would be like devices being able to track other devices with Bluetooth active in them. This would help in the unique identification of each vehicle at all times. The details of this number plate(registration number,vehicle description etc), is to be embedded in all distress communication sent using the SOS Button.
The Remotely Operated Vehicle Slowdown Unit:
Every vehicle used in public transport is to be made capable of being remotely locked down safely by use of something like OnStar’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, that allows the driver control of the steering wheel and brakes ,but cuts off fuel-supply slowly and slows down vehicles to a gradual stop. This way accidents due to sudden stoppage of a vehicle are avoided.
How Ride-Safe Works:
STEP 1. 3 genuine presses of the SOS Button are recognized by the cell phone.
STEP 2.The cell phone transmits, finger print details and vehicle details, readable from the electronic number plate, to the closest cell tower ,as an emergency distress call.
STEP 3.The cell tower electronically transmits this emergency distress call, with all details (ie fingerprint and vehicle description),along with the cell tower location details, to the designated police control room.
STEP 4.The police control room,
1)Calls the nearest police station/marshal etc.
2) Slows down the public transport vehicle that is involved, remotely
3) Puts an SOS message on the licence-plate of the public transport vehicle wirelessly, alerting all nearby vehicles and bystanders
And 4)Puts on standby, closest, emergency medical assistance, for quick mobilization, if necessary.
With Ride-Safe, women may ride public transport fearlessly, at all times, knowing full well that whether it is eve-teasing, groping, assault, battery,molestation, rape or acid attacks, there is no need to deal with it alone. The police and concerned general public will be mobilized to deal with miscreants. No woman needs to suffer even a fraction of what Nirbhaya did.