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SafeRide - an app with automatic ID & alert system for women in trouble while in transit

An app that records a taxi-driver's identification automatically while linking GPS location information of women while they in transit. If they are in trouble (or feel in danger) a panic button can be pressed that will send push notifications to selected friends/family in nearby area. The insight here is that most women feel safe at home or at work, but considerably less so while in transit - particularly if they are alone or it is late at night.

Photo of Kaye Han

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App has 3 main features:
  1. GPS Location - always has a record of location movements of user of last 24 hours. Information is private until panic button is pushed. 
  2. Taxi Identification - if entering a taxi, the driver's id (and details) will be sent to user's phone automatically. This gives record to user and allows her to double-check if the driver is certified.
  3. Panic Button - if the user encounters any problem, panic button can be hit. This will notifiy all friends/family (special priority to those in closer proximity) of the situation. The GPS location record will then be made public to those on notified list. 

Explain your idea in one sentence.

An app that records the GPS location, taxi-driver's identification, and has a panic button for potential dangers to be used by women while they in transit.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

The need for women to feel safe while they are in transit, and for potentially dangerous people to know that the women they target are digitally connected at all times to alert others if they are in danger. Originally this idea was conceived based on user feedback of women in Shanghai; and although it is not 100% applicable in countries where smartphones are inaccessible, companies such as Firefox are trying to make this gap closer with their cheap phones.

Who will benefit from this idea and how would you monitor its success?

All people who are in transit often using taxis or public transport (particularly alone or late at night), but more so for women. The success would be monitored by looking at how many people use the app, how many times it has been activated, and the outcomes during occasions where the panic button was used.

Who would be best equipped to implement this idea in the real world? You? Your organisation? Another organisation or entity?

This should be implemented firstly by the creation of the app, but ultimately it will need the taxi companies to provide the identification details of their drivers. They currently already do so, but it only a physical paper certificate in front of the passenger seat. The technology to do this could possibly be RFID push notifications, or maybe a QR code scanner in the seats of the car.

Where should this idea be implemented?

As I am working in Shanghai (high-density commercial city) with lots of taxis, my first thought is that it would work best in these areas. It would particularly service women who work late at night and go home alone.

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Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Hi Rob-

Great idea. Uber.com has an app that would get you part of the way there. Check it out. Now if they just worked in the idea of the panic button and push notifications to others, you might have your app!

How would we be able to get folks to respond to a panic button push in a way that is fast enough to be effective? Does limiting the push notifications to people that she knows hurt her chances of quick response?

Photo of Kaye Han
Team

You bring up a good point, if we limit the push notifications to people she knows it will definitely be less - but I wonder how much people would want to go out of their way to help a stranger in a dangerous situation. Maybe an alternative to to have it linked to a neighbourhood watch...or the police? Thanks for the comment, it's certainly food for thought. :)

Photo of DeletedUser
Team

DeletedUser

Yeah, it's a tough one. Because, even if you do notify everyone, who is going to care enough to stop what they are doing and possibly put themselves at risk to help a stranger? Those people are out there, and I'd like to think they are the majority rather than the minority. However, I think it is something that would need some testing.

Police, neighborhood watch, sure! Response times may be slower, however, but I think it is a good "Yes, and..." Why not do both or all: your friends/relatives who may not be super close by, local authorities (volunteer or otherwise) and folks in the area of the crime?

Photo of Kaye Han
Team

I suppose one drawback to notifying everyone is that everyone will think that 'somebody else' will be on the way to help...and therefore nobody ends up helping the person in trouble. Kind of like how if you ask a large group "can somebody please help me with this" and then nobody bothers replying because they think somebody else will haha.

Maybe this can be solved by friends needing to hit a 'on my way' button that notifies the others that help is indeed on the way. Therefore if that button is never hit, then people know that somebody still needs to help. Hmmm, this is starting to get tricky haha.

Photo of Parnasri Ray Choudhury
Team

Hello Rob Han : Great read and truly liked you 3 points "Safe Ride App" solution to women safety. I enjoyed reading the comments from other friends and appreciate Lindsay views.
Moreover, I agree with you in such case, there is always "somebody else" for easy escape.
I think we have quite a few things in common and in case you may find time, would love to receive your constructive feedback and improvise my idea quite similar to your's.
Here is the link for your reference-

http://www.openideo.com/challenge/womens-safety/ideas/securing-livelihoods-saving-lives-and-protecting-dignity

Looking forward to hearing from you sometime soon. Thanks always..

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