The Carmel Safety Ping
Carmel Car & Limousine Service (“Carmel”), the icon car service for New York residents and visitors for the past 35 years, is rolling out new safety features on its smartphone application to increase riders’ safety. Carmel has always been at the forefront of looking after the interests of its customers. After the high-profile murder of a South Carolina college student, Dr. Avik Kabessa, the CEO of Carmel, felt Carmel had to take further action to prevent similar tragic death recurring. Carmel’s response is called the Safety Ping.
Show Me My Car
The “Show Me My Car” screen of the Carmel app shows riders the name of the driver, a picture of the driver, the type of vehicle, a picture of the car, and the vehicle license plate number. The added feature is a button called the “Safety Ping”. Before entering the vehicle, riders can press the Safety Ping button on the app which sends a ping to the driver of the vehicle supposed to pick up the customer. Once the driver accepts the ping, the driver is then presented with a screen on the driver’s device showing the customer’s name and confirmation that the driver received the safety ping. The customer is asked to only get into the vehicle after the driver shows the customer’s name on the driver’s device.
Reason to Make Safety First
Carmel’s Safety Ping feature comes just weeks after Samantha Josephson got into a vehicle that she mistook as an Uber she had requested on March 29, 2019. Josephson’s body was found in a wooded area in South Carolina, near where the alleged killer lived. This deadly encounter comes after multiple reports around the nation of a number of persons getting into vehicles they mistook as the vehicle assigned to them.
Do Not Get Into the Wrong Vehicle
While some customers may have close encounters by unknowingly getting in the wrong vehicles, a simple error on the part of a rider can lead to deadly consequences. In response to the death of Samantha Josephson, South Carolina lawmakers are considering a bill to honor her and increase the safety of the riding public by requiring drivers to have lighted signage while actively giving rides. Carmel believes the lighted signage is not the solution. It will act as false security as criminal can get the lighted signage and be mistaken for a “safe” ride. Carmel’s Safety Ping goes beyond such meager provisions by providing riders the means for absolute certainty of knowing they are entering the proper vehicle.
Situational Awareness as a Safety Precaution
Carmel also stresses situational awareness. Before entering a vehicle, the customer believes to be a Carmel affiliated vehicle, riders should refer to the Carmel app for the model, color and license plate of the affiliated vehicle picking them up. Riders can use this information to confirm their vehicle before getting in and should always do so in the following sequence:
Safety Steps to Follow
1. Look for the make of the car as the vehicle approaches: Riders can usually identify the make by the emblem on the hood or the words on the back of the vehicle.
2. Confirm the model of the vehicle: The model of a vehicle can usually be found on the trunk. If provided by the app, riders should also use this time to confirm the color of the car.
3. Confirm the license plate number: Many vehicles look the same, so it is important to use the license plate number as final confirmation that it’s the correct car before approaching the vehicle.
4. But if unable or unwilling to do the above, at the very least riders should tap on the Safety Ping and make sure rider gets back (on rider’s app) that the Safety Ping was sent.
5. Finally, before entering the vehicle, Riders should ask the driver to show them the screen with their name on it revealing the Carmel Safety Ping sent by the rider was received by the driver of the vehicle they are about to enter.
In Case of Emergency
Another Carmel safety feature coming soon is the ability of Carmel app user to add what Carmel terms “In-Case-of-Emergency” number, or “ICE”. Carmel app users can add a contact person’s cellphone number. Contact person can be anyone riders would like to inform of their transportation activities via the Carmel app. When an ICE number is provided, The ICE contact person can request information about trips that are about to take place as well as the trip’s status (driver in route, driver on location, passenger was picked up, or trip was completed. Carmel believes that when an expected ride is not taking place because of suspicious reasons (like their loved one entering the wrong car), the ICE contact person knowledge of the trip’s status can serve as an early warning of a potential danger to the rider. An early detection of a potentially dangerous situation can save lives. The contact person has the option of contacting the police and work with Carmel in finding the reason for the ride not taking place.
A Note From Dr. Avik Kabessa, Carmel’s CEO
Because so many individuals and businesses depend on for-hire transportation, providers of such service should have security measures in place to help provide safe experiences for the riding public. The Carmel Safety Ping is just another reason why Carmel is and has been a staple of reliable transportation in New York City for over 35 years. Although the Safety Ping is an exclusive Carmel invention, Carmel encourages other transportation companies to mimic its’ invention. “When it comes to riders’ safety, it is not about having an edge over competitors, it is all about the riders, regardless of the company they use.” says Dr. Avik Kabessa, Carmel’s CEO.
The Carmel Mobile App with the Carmel Safety Ping
You can find out more about the Carmel Safety Ping feature by downloading the Carmel app at www.CarmelLimo.com/App