App-based bus aggregator Shuttl has launched new safety features for its commuters, Shuttl SAFE (Secure Anxiety Free Experience). The startup unveiled a prototype design of the same today in Delhi.
The Shuttl SAFE project provides multiple safety checks to every commuter through embedded technology features. It also ensures responsible behaviour by its bus drivers.
The team claims that the new SAFE features are designed keeping in mind the needs of an urban women commuter, and to ensure their safety in the Delhi NCR region. The rollout of these features will be done in phases within the next six months.
Speaking at the launch, Amit Singh, co-founder of Shuttl said, “One of the primary reasons for women not taking up jobs in Delhi NCR is the absence of a reliable and safe commute solution. With Shuttl SAFE, we are attempting to safeguard against each aspect of the commute pertaining to safety and solve for it by leveraging technology. SAFE is a project specifically created keeping in mind the safety of the urban working woman that empowers them to be fearless while travelling to work.”
Gurugram-based Shuttl was launched in April 2015 by Amit Singh along with Deepanshu Malviya. It claims to offer economic and comfortable shuttle services to commuters in Delhi-NCR.
In December 2015, Sequoia Capital-backed bus aggregator raised $20 Mn (INR 135 Cr) in Series A round. The round was led by Lightspeed Ventures along with participation from Times Internet and existing investor Sequoia Capital.
The startup claims to complete about 20,000 rides per day. It claims that monthly 35,000 riders use the platform. The startup currently operates on 50+ routes with more than 450 buses on the platform.
Shuttl SAFE – Features
The new features are an in-house creation by the bus aggregator’s technology team. Major updates include –
A face-based check-in – Once a passenger, as well as the driver, enter the bus, they face a screen that facilitates face-based check-in. This feature provides details of driver ID, allowing only authorised drivers to operate the bus. On the other hand, for the commuters, it ensures that only validated, genuine commuters board the bus.
Alcohol detector – The bus ignition is linked with a tech-based alcohol detection sensor. The driver does not have to breathe into the device. It ensures zero incidences of drunk driving.
Live CCTV Feed – Each Shuttl SAFE bus will have a live CCTV recording with an auto alert feature which alerts the aggregator if anyone inside the bus is in danger. Apart from this, these buses are now equipped with a physical panic button. An SOS and Panic button are also present on the Shuttl App. This button aims to help the commuter trigger an emergency response, if in danger.
Homecheck – The new safety features comes with Homecheck, a call-back confirmation to ensure that the commuter has reached home safely. Thus, the safety of the customer doesn’t stop with the bus and goes beyond where a user’s journey is tracked on-request, right down to the final destination.
However, a concerned user can opt out of any of these tracking and facial recognition features.
Highlighting the technological advancements, Deepanshu Malviya, co-founder of Shuttl added, “At Shuttl, we always believe in the power of technology and data to transform how an Indian commutes daily & Shuttl SAFE is a perfect showcase for this belief. Our traditional understanding of data as text and numbers has gone through a paradigm shift, with the advent of machine learning & internet of technology (IoT). By using image and sensor data, we are now taking a big leap forward in deriving intelligence, thereby delivering a very safe experience for our customers.”
Apart from safety and emergency features, Shuttl SAFE is also equipped with productivity tools for the commuter such as Shuttl TV. This contains exclusive content by the bus aggregator. In addition, free WiFi will be available that allows commuters to read, socialise, shop, and manage their personal tasks while commuting. Through the Ride-share feature, commuters of the bus aggregator can share their ride details with a friend or a family member to track their rides.
Given the fact that urban cities are still considered unsafe spaces for women, the Shuttl SAFE experience by bus aggregator Shuttl, in Delhi-NCR seems to be a welcome addition to the way women will be able to commute.