Lisbon, 21 September 2007 The Ministry of the Interior, Lisbon City Council and the Vodafone Portugal Foundation today signed an agreement to extend the Safe Taxi system to taxis licensed by the City of Lisbon.
The system, developed by the Vodafone Portugal Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of the Interior and the police, is designed to discourage and combat security threats to taxi drivers.
Under the agreement, the Vodafone Portugal Foundation is funding the costs of installing the equipment in 200 taxis and the training of the participating taxi drivers. The Ministry of the Interior and Lisbon City Council are subsidising the cost of installing the equipment in the remaining taxis, with the taxi owners paying 40% of the cost (139 euros VAT).
Safe Taxi is an innovative and effective system for preventing and combating the violence to which taxi drivers are potentially at risk, and has been operating since 2006 in over 1000 taxis in the Lisbon and Oporto metropolitan areas. Overall, the Vodafone Portugal Foundation has invested around 650,000 euros in the Safe Taxi system.
Safe Taxi is an open system that can be installed in all taxis irrespective of their mobile operator, provided that their on-board localisation equipment meets the necessary technical specifications. Its technology is based on the use of GSM and GPS, enabling the police to determine the location of the vehicle in real time as soon as the driver gives the alarm, whether stationary or on the move. As from that moment, in addition to being able to track its course, the police can listen to the sounds inside the vehicle. This direct link between the driver and the police enables them to determine more accurately how dangerous the situation is, and decide the best resources to use and action to take.
The Vodafone Portugal Foundation is a non-profit institution established to promote research and the development of the Information Society. Among its objectives is the creative use of new technologies, in particular mobile communications technologies, in projects of public interest. The creation and development of the Safe Taxi project fits into this objective.