Express News Service

VISAKHAPATNAM: About 1,000 autos have been equipped with Internet of Things-enabled GPS devices in the city as part of the newly launched Abhayam App for women’s safety. Initially, auto drivers were apprehensive over the installation of IoT-enabled GPS devices in their vehicles due to bitter experience they faced when such a system was launched earlier on an experimental basis. Now, they are satisfied with the new system as it poses no problems to them.

“In 2018, the previous government installed similar devices in around 50 autos in the city on an experimental basis. The devices affected the brake system of autos. After a trial run for about a month,  the project was eventually cancelled as it failed to yield desired results,” said D Ramana, an auto driver.

“We understand that the new initiative is for women’s safety. But, we have to incur loss if the new devices cause technical glitches in autos,” he said, adding that the new IoT-enabled GPS devices installed as part of the Abhayam App have not posed any problem at all. 

“The RTA officials have ensured us that the new device will cause no harm to our vehicles,” said P Shiva, another auto driver.  Speaking to TNIE, Deputy Transport Commissioner GC Raja Ratnam said they held a meeting with all the auto drivers in the city before installing the GPS devices in their vehicles. “Bajaj, Ape, Alpha and other autos are compatible with the new IoT-enabled GPS device,” he said. 

Over 1,000 download Abhayam app

He further said a mock drill to check the functionality of the app and installed GPS devices was conducted on Thursday and Friday and it was successful. The new system is fully functional now. “So far, we have not received any complaints from women travelling in autos,” he added.

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From Play Store, Abhayam Passenger App has been downloaded by over a thousand people so far. Once registered in the app and onboard an auto, passengers can scan the QR code or provide the vehicle number in the app to get all the necessary details of the driver.

Furthermore, the vehicle movement will be monitored by police. In case of any emergency or threat, passengers can press a button on the auto meter or their app, which will alert the police who come to their rescue within no time.



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