As part of a pilot project by the Andhra Pradesh Transport Department, autos in Vizag city will be installed with panic buttons in a bid to improve passenger safety. Powered by the Internet of Things (IoT), the feature would enable passengers to alert authorities in case of any emergency. The project will also have the police department work in coordination with the transport department to ensure the safety of the passengers.
Speaking to Yo! Vizag, Deputy Transport Commissioner of Vizag, GC Raja Ratnam said, “The pilot project will be launched by the Transport Minister this month-end. During the initial phase, about 1000 autos in Vizag city will be equipped with this advanced feature. The panic buttons, which are essentially IoT devices, will be integrated with the Command Control Room in Vijayawada and the 112 Emergency Response Support System (ERSS). Once a distressed passenger presses the button, the Command Control Room relays it to the nearest police station to rescue the supposed victim. The feature also enables the live-tracking of the vehicle. Any deviation from the route thus alerts the control room.”
As an added security feature, the autos will also flaunt a QR code. “Upon scanning the QR code, passengers will receive information regarding the auto and its driver. Passengers would also be able to fetch these details by downloading the concerned app and entering the vehicle number. For additional security, they can even share their location and route through the app,” Mr Ratnam said.
On Friday, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law & Order -I) Aishwarya Rastogi sought cooperation from auto drivers and unions in helping the city police control crimes in the city. Speaking with auto-rickshaw associations and unions, at a meeting held at the VMRDA Children’s Arena, the police said that auto drivers can play their part in crime prevention by alerting the cops if they notice any suspicious activities in their surroundings. The police also stated that only those autos which have a police verification will be permitted to ply in the city during the nights.