Colombian city implements IoT taxi tracking to increase driver safety

Tunja, Colombia - where taxis are connected to the IoT for safety

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The fleet of taxis in Tunja city, Colombia are part of a new IoT project to improve the tracking and safety of drivers.

The initiative is being led by, a supplier of IoT and renewable energy solutions and Abeeway, which provides tracking devices and ultra-low-power LoRaWAN connectivity for data transfer.

Increasing driver safety

The city of Tunja has a fleet of approximately 1,200 taxis, where the drivers are independent and pay for the vehicles with their own money. This means that if the drivers face any cases of aggression or theft, they incur financial loss and have no protection.

The pilot project covers the first batch of 200 taxis that are being tracked across the city. Abeeway Micro Trackers are connected to the lighter of the car for constant power supply and provide location information every three minutes throughout the day.

Tunja City Administration has already approved the further deployment of 1,000 more taxis as part of the IoT project.

The panic button of the tracker plays a crucial role as it allows drivers to alert the police in case of emergency so that they can be located rapidly. According to Abeeway, the police department has also expressed interest in using the trackers on their own vehicle fleet for real-time location and dispatch.

Flexible tracking

Abeeway highlights that the LoRaWAN-based solution provides advantages over cellular networking technologies like 4G, which presents a lot of blind spots. Conventional cellular-based GPS devices do not work everywhere and their radio signal can be easily jammed, facilitating theft.

LoRaWAN is a widely used wireless communication technology, which makes use of unlicensed radio spectrum and allows battery-powered sensors to communicate with IoT applications across a very long-range while supporting low data rates.

“We are honored to be one of the first projects in Latin America implementing IoT to enhance security and public service. Colombia is a great country of opportunity and capability for growth within technology and this IoT implementation showcases that traditional issues can be overcome with new technology,” said Ginette Cardozo, Commercial Director at SAS.

“At Actility, we are honored to have been a part of the Tunja city IoT project by providing our innovative Abeeway tracking devices using LoRaWAN connectivity. It is heartening to know that our technology has played a significant role in increasing the safety and security of taxi drivers in Tunja. We are proud to have contributed to this project and hope that it will serve as an inspiration for other cities to adopt similar IoT solutions for their communities,” added Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility.

SJA insight

With increased safety measures in place that enable drivers to locate their vehicle if stolen, the security of taxis within Tunja should improve significantly.

Additionally, by connecting taxis to the IoT, it provides drivers with assurance that they are protected within a wider network. Being able to quickly send for help if needed means that drivers will not have to call the police and relay crucial information if threatened, as the panic button automates this process. If drivers are unable to reach or use their phone, they can still make sure that response teams can locate them.

About the companies SAS is a provider of technology development and renewable energy in the Colombian marketplace and delivers custom solutions to common issues.

Abeeway is a supplier of low-power indoor and outdoor fused geolocation and a provider of disruptive IoT tracking solutions worldwide. 

Actility is a provider of low-power wide-area networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the IoT. 

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