of the week!!
Ever since the un-called incident in Uber Delhi, i have been mulling over a thought, a solution. I have been wanting to pen this since Day Zero but thought that it so obvious that Uber would surely figure out. But i’m not seeing Uber coming closer to it. [or for that matter any other brand in the market]
In an article in last week’s fortune, Uber Head of Global Safety Phillip Cardenas mentions “We are committed to ensuring Uber is the safest way to get around a city,” He added that his team has been working with outside safety experts to review the service’s passenger safety procedures.
But where is technology’s PLAY and more so when we have so much at our disposal.
Technology is the Ghost that follows us, whether we like it or not. It’s a delight when Google throws up options as soon as we hit the first key to search for something, facebook finds friends for us and flipkart tells us what we have to buy next. Then why can’t it figure out whether the car i’m traveling in isn’t on its path, it hasn’t reached the destination at the estimated time & so on !!!
IT SURELY CAN ! and this is how it can.
- All our cars have OBD ports, where a small Intelligent OBD device can be plugged. As as simple as plugging a USB stick in our laptops.
- These OBD devices are network enabled, thus they start talking to any server you want them too
- These devices pick various data points from the vehicle and transmit it back.
- And there is a way by which these devices can’t be easily unplugged by the drivers
Image Source : www.Moj.io
So what does this device know now:
- Whether the engine has been turned off
- Whether the car hasn’t moved for while
- The battery efficiency
- Speed & Mileage
- Exact Location….etc
And all of this is empowered with Maps, which Uber & Google are so strong at.
Now take a Use Case:
- Uber has to pick you from Point A & drop you at Point B.
- To travel from A to B there would ‘x’ options
- The OBD device now tells the backend which option has been chosen for traveling from A to B.
- And now there is an algorithm running at the backend which tracks the Uber and raises an alarm if,
- Geographic fencing has been breached, which means the car is in a Geography it shouldn’t be for traveling from A to B
- Rash Driving : The car is traveling at a speed it shouldn’t or taking sharp edgy curves or has harshly braked
- Engine Shut off / No movement : The car is still at a location for more than the pre-defined time or is still at a location where traffic isn’t estimated
- Time alarm : Based on traffic data and history of other travels, the car should have reached the particular location and it hasn’t.
- Other technical failure : which means the car has broken down or met with an accident.
- No data : There has been no data received from the OBD device.
All of this and much more is programmable and requires no manual intervention unless an Alarm is raised.
Apart from issues associated with Women’s Safety, we also don’t want to risk our lives in hands of drivers who are not worthy to even drive. The information received from the device can also be processed to figure out whether the driver is habitual in harsh braking, over racing and taking sharp curves. This in the long run would help Uber to filter out rash drivers from its system with no manual intervention
The above applies to all the radio cab services in the country.
Why isn’t Uber or Ola & other radio cabs thinking about technology to solve pain points. There is no dearth of data which can be collected from any smart device, here the car. We have so much of software grey matter in the country that would turn this data into valuable information, so that we are well equipped to AVOID ANOTHER DELHI.
UPDATE ADDED BY ASHA ON APRIL 2, 2015:
Kinnari wrote to Shashi Tharoor and the PMO sharing this article.
Yesterday, Shashi Tharoor replied with this tweet! (we got loads of traffic and Kinnari got loads of twitter followers and more than 15 seconds of fame!)
And then we got some love from the media this morning!!
Lesson: Make your stories viral. Share them over social media. Share them with influencers. TWEET. Mention @therodinhoods every time you tweet your story. We will RT you!!
Ps: Pls always add your twitter handle at the end of your articles.