Vehicle tracking and SOS alert system for safety of women and children in Puducherry

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The 24X7 facility uses both GPS-based tracking and GSM/GPRS channel for triggering emergency alerts

The 24X7 facility uses both GPS-based tracking and GSM/GPRS channel for triggering emergency alerts

Puducherry on Thursday joined a select group of early mover States and Union Territories in adopting integrative technology for enhancing in-transit safety of the public, especially women and children, with the launch of a command centre for a vehicle tracking and SOS alert system at the Transport Department.
The 24X7 integrated command centre set up at the Transport Department under the Nirbhaya Framework of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) uses both Global Positioning System (GPS)-based vehicle tracking and the GSM/GPRS channel for triggering emergency alerts.
The common emergency toll lines, motor vehicles wing, the police control room and related enforcement units are looped into a real-time data sharing network with the command centre functioning as an interface for stakeholder agencies.
The initial phase will involve real-time tracking of stage carriage buses of PRTC and private operators and school and college buses that will be mandated to install panic buttons for SOS alerts.
Lt. Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan, Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, Speaker R. Selvam and Transport Minister Chandira Priyanga participated in the launch of the Vehicle Monitoring System command centre at the Transport Department.
P. Jawahar, Transport Secretary, A. S. Sivakumar, Transport Commissioner and representatives of of the Coimbatore-based technology firm were present.
The AIS 140 (Automotive Industry Standard) compliant back-end software deployed in the architecture can at present engage in real-time mapping of around 100 buses which have been fitted with Vehicle Location Tracking devices and will soon cover the entire fleet of public/private stage carriages.
According to officials, as many as six panic buttons will be installed on each bus including private stage carriers. Once the details are integrated, the State can monitor vehicle movement, location, over-speeding alerts, and emergency notifications when passengers press a panic button, if in distress.
In stages, the government would notify timelines for implementation of VLT device/panic button installation in public transport vehicles. Thereafter, compliance by vehicle owners will become a precondition for issuance of registration/ permit issuance/ renewal/ fitness certificates. While all new vehicles registered with the RTOs in the Union Territory from January 1, 2019, will be fitted with GPS, for vehicles registered prior to the date, the vehicle location tracking device and emergency button is to be retrofitted by vendors approved by MoRTH, officials said.
The system, envisaged across the country, under a differentiated Centre-State cost sharing arrangement, has been fully Centrally-funded in Puducherry through MoRTH and the Ministry of Women & Child Development that is in charge of the Nirbhaya Fund.
While the initial phase of roll out of the facility costing roughly ₹2.69 crore has been limited to public and private stage carriages and school/college buses, subsequently, it has been planned to expand the tracking facility to all passenger vehicles, including omnibuses, taxis and cabs, said a spokesman for the Coimbatore-based technology solutions provider BloomElectronics.
The development of a mobile app that will allow the public to report in real time transport-related complaints, ranging from untoward incidents during a journey, over speeding or non-stoppage is on the anvil.

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