Crime prevention is usually a job for the police authorities. Nonetheless, being in the wrong time and wrong place can make one a victim of a crime. Mercedes-Benz is currently working on an app that would allow drivers and their passengers to not become crime victims.
Places usually not frequented by many people are the usual venues for crimes. Criminals lurk in these places simply because the chances of being seen or caught are quite low. One of these places is the parking area, where vehicles typically outnumber people, except when it is time to go home. Going into a safe parking area already means a lot for any driver. At Mercedes-Benz, its software developers are finding ways to help Mercedes-Benz drivers avoid parking areas that are prone to crime.
Still under development and planned for future use on Mercedes-Benz models in the United State, this new app allows cars to use crime data to recommend safe parking spaces or areas. An in-car service, the new app would cross-reference police statistics with available parking spaces, to tell Mercedes-Benz drivers whether it is safe or not to park in a certain parking space.
According to Markus Ehmann, software developer at Mercedes-Benz, the app would pick a certain parking space then analyze the amount or frequency of crimes that occurred in the area in past few weeks. The available parking spaces would be coded by colors as Mercedes-Benz drivers search for places where they could safely park. If the area is coded as Green, then it is safe to park there. If the area is Yellow, it means that it is somewhat safe to park there, although a Green code is much suitable. But if the area is marked as Red, the driver should never park there and should try to find another space to park.
By choosing Green areas, Mercedes-Benz drivers could be assured that they and their cars are safe from crimes like assault and vandalism. Choosing Red areas could mean danger.
The information from this app would be displayed through the new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment screen. The app would also show on the screen other relevant information like the walking distance to the final destination as well as hourly parking fees.
Ehman remarked in the development of the new app, Mercedes-Benz’ software developers took open data from the city of Seattle then compared them with data from the parking spaces at target locations.
When launched, the new app would be possibly available only in limited regions for new Mercedes vehicles through a dedicated app store.
Nevertheless, there are some issues seen with the new app. One of these is the availability of up-to-date crime statistics, as sorted by location and offence type. If the data on a certain location isn't current up to date, then the coded message sent by the app would be next to useless.