Cab safety is becoming a bone of contention for passengers and drivers alike. While stakeholders are looking at several ways to make travelling by taxi a safe experience, we showcase to you a couple of interesting patented technologies that, if implemented well, can help make taxi travel safer – both for passengers and drivers. In the first of our two-part series, we ride you through some interesting patented technologies that create a perfect grid between the passenger, cab service provider and emergency services to enhance passenger safety.
All you need is a safe ride to your destination. And what do you do? Contact a renowned taxi service provider, book a vehicle, get an SMS and email confirmation and get ready to travel. But are you travelling safe? Well, this is the big question we are trying to answer.
Cab drivers and taxi service providers have been coming under flak for several reasons of late. While governments across the globe are doing their best to ensure only licensed professionals are allowed to drive, there is more to passenger safety that we need to look at… situations that when combined with proper licensing strategies can make taxi travel safe for all.
When we talk of passenger safety, we aren’t just talking of safety of women. In an incident that occurred in September this year, a 35 year old bartender in San Francisco, Roberto Chicas, boarded an UberX cab around 2 am after work, looking forward to a comfortable night after a hectic day at work. Instead, he landed up in the hospital with a mutilated face. Reason? He had a verbal altercation with the cab driver over the travel route resulting in the driver bashing him in his face with a hammer.
What could have saved this passenger from such a trauma? Or rather what could have saved several such passengers, including the recent Uber Taxi victim in New Delhi from being victimized?
Imagine a situation where a hired cab starts travelling on a route that is not predetermined or is beyond any predetermined route between the pick-up point and the passenger’s destination. This is a signal of a possible kidnapping – either of the passenger or the driver. Patent US 20120150427 A1 describes a technology that transmits details of a taxi’s whereabouts to a path tracking unit.
The moment a vehicle begins to show distressing signs of deviation, alerts can be sent out to the nearest police check post marking the cab’s location – an effective pre-emptive strategy to curtail the number of kidnapping and route disputes. If such a system was in place, Chicas could probably have enjoyed a safe ride home.
Patent US 20110093193 A1 discusses a similar approach to tackle the problem, just that in this application, the information is transmitted from the mobile device of one of the rideshare participants and a security check is triggered when the device location is inconsistent with the predetermined route.
Driver profiling made easy
The more recent Uber incident that happened in Delhi could have been avoided if patent number US 20120233246 A1 was implemented. Holding the key to offering notifications to the community about the reputation of drivers, this patent, if implemented, will allow passengers to comment about each driver they have traveled with and create a profile of sorts. Such profiling will allow a passenger assigned to the said person’s taxi to decide if he/she wishes to ride with this driver or request for another person.
What’s more, even cab service providers can keep a tab on drivers’ based on passengers’ immediate feedback and take appropriate action.
Living in a world that is well woven into the world wide web, enhancing communication strategies through the versatile tool that each of us carry on us today – the mobile phone – can enhance taxi passenger safety dramatically and make travelling a pleasant experience.
In the concluding part of this blog series, we shall take you on a ride through incidents where passengers have jeopardized cab driver safety and patent technologies that, if implemented, can make taxis safe for drivers as well.
(Featured image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/03/TAXI.jpg)