In a bid to improve passenger safety, international cab service-provider Uber announced on Monday its pilot project with Safetipin to carry out a safety review of Delhi over a period of five months. Later, the project will be expanded to other cities like Bogota, Colombia and Nairobi.
Safetipin is a map-based mobile safety app that tags safety scores to locations on a city's map. According to Uber, this is the latest addition to its mission of "creating a comprehensive safety ecosystem for riders in India."
The company confirmed that the project begins on 25 February in Delhi. Uber further said it is aiming at covering approximately 20,000 km of city roads and areas.
"Piloting the collaboration in New Delhi, India, Uber is joining forces with SafetiPin, a map-based mobile safety app that tags safety scores to locations on a map in a city, based on safety audits done across the city," the company writes. "Best in class safety is an on-going endeavour and we will work tirelessly towards that goal."
SafetiPin will first collect the data of locations based on nine parameters "that together contribute to the perception of safety by measuring actual location conditions in order to generate a safety score for an area."
The information will then be supplemented with comments and photographs from real users and trained safety auditors. The data collected from the audit will also be shared with city governments for urban planning and safety campaigns for safer travels around the city.
Moreover, Uber will offer access to partner-drivers and their cars. These partner-drivers, based at different locations in the city, will be trained and will work at night with SafetiPin's safety auditors.
"Uber is deeply committed and will continue its tireless efforts to build a comprehensive ecosystem that brings best in class safety to the streets of Delhi and across India. This partnership builds on SafetiPin's understanding and expertise in this field," said Gagan Bhatia, General Manager, Uber Delhi.
"By working together on this meaningful cross-border initiative we hope to provide local communities with the technologies to enable them to travel more safely around their cities, here in India and around the world."
Night-time data of extensive city areas will be collected using camera phones mounted on vehicles. These will capture surrounding road/city conditions automatically at regular intervals via photographs.
The photograph will then be tagged with a precise safety score based on nine predetermined parameters: lighting, openness, visibility, security, walk path, crowd and gender diversity and density.
"SafetiPin is a free app that women and others can use to view their city from the perspective of safety. As part of our work in cities, we are delighted to have Uber's participation and support in key cities around the world," said Ashish Basu, founder of SafetiPin.
"This association will provide us with a much larger data set that would otherwise not have been possible, and the process is easier with Uber's engaged and professional driver community."
The Delhi government has banned operations of all but six cab-booking services, including Uber, after a woman was allegedly raped by an Uber driver last December. Uber has applied for a licence under the modified radio taxi scheme. Its application for licence to operate in Delhi is yet to get a nod from the Transport department.
Stay tuned for more updates!