A Cebuano software developer was the brains behind the high-tech interiors of the e-jeepney or the City Optimized Managed Electric Transport (Comet) vehicle that was presented to US President Barack Obama when he visited the country last week.
A project of Global Electric Transport (GET) Ltd., Comet is offered as an eco-friendly and more efficient alternative to the diesel-fed jeepney.
The body and engine of the Comet are imported from Oregon in the US, but the digital features of the cab were designed by Josephus Uy Dy, president of Ezware IT Computing Solutions.
The digital features of the Comet include a pre-paid ticket reader, snapshot cameras to monitor the passengers, a video system that shows advertisements, global positioning system (GPS) that is hooked up to a command center, an emergency alert button and Wi-Fi connectivity.
All these features are interconnected and controlled by the software designed by Dy.
“The technology is already there. It is how you apply and implement them in day-to-day life,” he said.
A Comet can carry 20 passengers. It is powered by a rechargeable battery, making it pollution emission free. Passengers use a pre-loaded ticketing card which is swiped in a terminal upon boarding and leaving the vehicle.
A rear-view camera is mounted to allow the driver to see what’s behind the e-jeepney.
Another feature in the Comet is the television system which is connected to a media player.
Through a “fuzzy indicator,” as Dy called it, they can analyze the age range of the passengers and show product advertisements that will suit the demographics of the passengers.
For example, if the passengers are mostly children, the advertisements could be e about fast-food and toys.
Aside from the TV advertisements, a “location advertisement” can will show as the Comet passes by the advertiser’s branch or office. This is beneficial especially for tourists or first-timers in the place.
In Cebu soon?
The Comet is expected to roll out in Metro Manila streets soon.
Dy said he wants Cebu to have the units available before the year ends.
While the Comet will cater to traditional jeepney passengers, its operation is centralized, with the computer program developed by Dy serving as its backbone.
Deployment of units, for example, is based on the volume of passenger traffic monitored by computers. It will also have designated terminals. Drivers will be paid a fixed salary. /Report by Irish Maika R. Lam, Xavier University Intern