Prototype: SafeHER: AI (em)powered mobility

Manila has one of the most dangerous transport systems in the world for women due to harrassment, and sexual assault. AI can be used to mitigate and supplement the efforts to make transit safer for women – providing an avenue to contact authorities, get in touch with their emergency contacts and be alerted about unsafe areas or modes of transportation. 

The initial study conducted by DeLaSalle University in the Phillipines is informed by feminist theories, sociology, anthropology and psychology. It factors in social, cultural, personal, psychological and spatial factors in the development of AI driven apps. The lack of women’s involvement in urban planning has resulted in public spaces, including public transportation, that do not adequately address women’s needs. To ensure that women’s needs are taken into account, participatory approaches are essential in both general urban transit planning and the development of initiatives that prioritize women’s safety during their daily journeys. This prototype aims to promote the participation of women in the planning and development of systems that enhance their safety. It consists of two parts: an exploration of the perspectives of women, transit operators, and local government authorities, as well as a review of existing AI-driven safety apps, insights from app designers and developers, and the presentation of a concept for an AI-driven safety app specifically for Filipino women.

The prototype SafeHer integrates defensive functions, the cooperation of local transit authorities and government units and makes perpetrators accountable for their crimes. The app includes a reporting system, an alarm system, and a notification page which would include reported incidents within the user’s vicinity. The prototype is slated for a summer 2023 release date.

Read more about the project here