Cartrack, well known for its vehicle tracking and fleet management systems, has stepped out of its traditional area of influence and launched a sophisticated and easily-accessible rapid response personal safety app for all. Called Karu Safety, it has been developed in response to the huge increase in personal safety concerns in South Africa.
While FleetWatch has always stuck to its guns by concentrating on the trucking industry and the various issues that surround it, what we never forget is that the industry is not just about the hard assets. It is also about the people and these people – men, women and their children – are now facing a number of personal threats to their safety. It is thus we too are stepping out of our traditional area of influence to highlight this welcomed development.
The economic struggles caused by Covid-19, compounded by the increasing domestic violence particularly affecting women and children, have led to a huge increase in public safety concerns. Cartrack has also seen the rate of vehicle theft and hijacking return to pre-lockdown levels and in some cities, reaching record highs. What is also of great concern of late are the increasing incidents of children, teenagers and even adults been ‘jacked’ for human trafficking. This is such a worrying trend and has families really scared given the brazenness of some of these actions by criminals.
It is because of all this that the Cartrack Group has responded by introducing world-class innovation and technology as the solution to a safer South Africa. Karu Safety, powered by Cartrack, comes at the right time as it is a mobile app that dispatches emergency security assistance for people in their time of greatest need.
With its new offering, subscribers can access private security services at the touch of a button and ensure fast and reliable safety support for themselves and their loved ones in a life-threatening situation.
I would not normally link a competitor to another company’s breakthroughs but in this instance I am going to do so – primarily because the incident I describe below indirectly links two people who have mutual respect for each other and have, in their own ways, done so much in safeguarding assets and people.
The incident I refer to goes back to those early days while chatting over a cup of coffee to Stefan Joselowitz, founder and CEO of MiX Telematics – and he was furious. Why? Because some journalist had written that Jos would obviously welcome any increase in vehicle crime as it would benefit his business.
“That is so way off the mark,” Jos said. “I hate crime and want to see it reduce not increase. We are developing and using technology to help reduce crime and I long for the day when we can extend this to protecting the lives of more valuable assets than vehicles, namely, our kids and families.” It may not have been those exact words but they are as near as dammit. I’ll never forget that conversation.
Let’s now bring in Cartrack’s founder and Group CEO, Zak Calisto – and you will see the link: “As a responsible corporate citizen and visionary in technology, we are compelled to get involved and lend our expertise and innovation towards making a positive contribution to the safety of our communities. Our commitment has always been to the safety of our customers and their vehicles and we’re now extending that promise of trust to personal safety.”
“We’ve been in the software business for 16 years and consistently introduced ground-breaking innovations that have made significant contributions towards the growth of the industry globally. We have unparalleled experience and insight into the needs of people living in South Africa for personal safety. We too are concerned with the growing safety concerns in our communities. We view this new service as our duty to respond to the dire call from the South African people for affordable and accessible safety,” says Calisto.
I’m sure Stefan Joss would reach out his hand to Zak Calisto and shake on this new innovation. Yes, they are competitors but I just know the nature of these guys and if one of them develops some product that will help ensure the safety of our families, the other would cheer. You see, they too have families who are precious to them.
So what’s this new app all about? As mentioned, the Karu Safety app dispatches a rapid response team to your live location with the tap of a button. Once an emergency is activated on your phone, a 24/7 emergency control centre will immediately dispatch a response unit to your location.
Karu Safety is connected to Cartrack’s existing national private security network, supported by its dedicated and exclusive tactical response teams. The interactive app is really easy to use, and available for download from the Android and IOS app stores.
This app is available now to all Gauteng residents, with a rapid roll out to the rest of the country planned. Cartrack customers will receive this service for free, for 12 months, and thereafter will enjoy a subsidised fee of R19.95 per month. The monthly fee for any member of the public who is not yet a Cartrack customer is R29.95 per month.
Cartrack South Africa CEO, Harry Louw – another man who has been in this industry sector for close on 25 years and lives to see a reduction in crime – says Cartrack has developed a reputation for its highest audited vehicle recovery rate and it is a natural extension to bring this expertise into protecting the public.
“We want the public to know that we are here for them if they are in a situation that puts their safety at risk. We want all South Africans to feel safe and to know they can get the help they need when they need it. We’re excited to bring safety and peace of mind to all South Africans, as easy as at the press of a button,” says Louw.
For more information about Karu Safety, or to download the App, visit www.karu.com.