Technology and Safety


On a global scale, communities are reeling from major events that have shaken peace and stability owing to flaws in everything from arms control to poor security at major events.

Where humans can err, technology can step in, through tools such as ‘situational intelligence’, which combines traditional situational awareness with the collective intelligence of those at the nucleus of a situation.

When governments are able to coordinate information such as on-site videos, photos, Twitter messages, and experiential responses in real time, they can make better, more informed decisions and manage crises before, during, and after major events.

In this article, Marisa Cutillas discusses situational intelligence and other tech developments that promise to increase safety from the social, political, and health-based perspectives.

Being in the Wrong Place but able to react positively

Situational intelligence involves gathering all data and using big data analytics to process and access information. Mobile technologies allow more information to be shared, online software and services allow new apps to be created and updated, and interactive dashboards and screens make it easier to make ‘real sense’ of data obtained.

Forbes notes that five industries in particular can make use of situational intelligence technology: law enforcement (e.g. to find wanted criminals via data such as part of a licence plate), emergency management services (to help communities create a strategic plan when natural disasters are incumbent), cyber security (we can benefit from a human insight into cyber criminal strategy), anti-fraud organisations (technology can help detect potential fraud), and government intelligence (governments can avail of technology that finds common ground between seemingly unrelated items of information).

Thanks to situational intelligence, data can be used to make predictions and detect potential and existing criminal activity in highly complex situations whose patterns lie beyond those of human data analysis.

Do You Know Where You’re Going To?

Many accidents are caused because drivers lose track of where they are going or take a wrong turn, only to lose security on the road.

Logistics companies have been using GPS systems to track the location of their vehicles (such as trucks) for various years, but now, companies are starting to set up geofences, which provide alerts when a vehicle has veered outside its service area. Geofencing also enables vehicles to use real-time traffic data to optimise routes, avoiding potentially dangerous or traffic congested zones…

Words Marisa Cutillas

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