Switch into safety



YOUR safety gears are between your ears.” This old adage is as relevant today as it’s always been. The pursuit of safety has driven technology since the invention of the wheel and with it the emergence of intelligent transportation systems.

The rise of safety innovations in intelligent mobility by the Deloitte University Press cited: ‘In the years since Karl Benz invented the modern automobile in 1885, energy and safety have emerged as two long-standing themes, central to the automotive industry.’

Safety innovations are not only essential but are equally important for the development of vehicles in general and the systems that are used for their operation. While the term ‘passive safety’ refers to built-in mechanisms for road-safety. Think of ‘active safety’ in the context of data acquisition and processing advances.

‘In the future, vehicle safety will likely fuse with information communication technologies (ICT) into a system category that can be described as info-safety—with a larger influence on shaping an information-connected mobility’.

While in the context of the article the data collecting is obtained from the vehicle’s surroundings ‘including traffic, road configuration and condition, and nearby objects, and works together with passive safety features to mitigate damage in the event of an unavoidable collision’.

Uber has added another element to the concept—with passenger safety as the focus through intelligence collecting by ushering in a new age of vehicle communication technology, and with it an unrivalled sense of security. “Uber connects riders with safe, reliable transportation at the touch of a button – wherever and whenever they choose,” says Ebi Atawodi, General Manager for Uber Lagos.

The Uber experience has been designed with safety in mind from the moment a user requests a ride to the drop off point. Though in fact, the process starts way before that. Before they get on the road, drivers are vetted by thorough background checks, including their motor vehicle records.

Users also have access to their driver’s profile, entailing their name, license plate number, photo, and rating. The latter refers to how Uber users can rate drivers after every trip. The idea is to continually collect information to improve the service. The drivers are said to work hard to keep their ratings high.

Most importantly, due to Uber’s location technology, civilians never have to worry about standing alone on a dark street trying to hail a taxi—the app automatically pinpoints a person’s location, meaning they can stay safe and comfortable wherever they are until a driver arrives. So if safety means thinking first, isn’t using intelligent technology the only way to move?


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