In order to ensure the safety of delivery drivers, the local life services platform operated by major Chinese tech firm Meituan has announced it will put 100,000 smart safety helmets into use in Beijing, Suzhou, Haikou and other cities this year. During the pilot operation, delivery drivers don’t need to pay for the helmets but must wear them according to relevant specifications when transporting goods.
Meituan started R&D of smart safety helmets in June of 2020, then put them into trial operations in Hunan, Guangdong, Liaoning and Ningxia provinces in June 2021.
The developers said the smart security helmets were independently produced and patented by Meituan and were categorized as devices for delivery drivers. They have passed many strict tests to meet the national standards. They are distinguished from traditional helmets by virtue of their numerous smart safety functions, such as detection in wearing and collision, self-sensing taillights, Bluetooth headsets, microphones, shortcut keys and other innovative features.
From receiving orders to delivery, riders need to use smartphones or answer calls many times, often leading to distraction and accidents. Smart safety helmets have functions such as voice calling and order receiving, thus greatly enhancing the driver’s security during delivery.
In July of 2021, seven Chinese government departments jointly issued the “Guiding Opinions on Implementing the Responsibility of Online Catering Platform and Effectively Safeguarding the Rights and Interests of Takeaway Delivery Drivers.” The Opinions put forward clear instructions on “ensuring labor safety,” calling for “encouraging the research and development of wearable devices such as smart helmets” and “optimizing the working environment.”
“Safety is the shortest way in delivery,” the head of Meituan‘s smart safety helmet project said, adding that the project intends to ensure and improve driver safety by scientific and technological means.
Unlike traditional helmets, smart helmets cost more for new modules, redesign, customization and more. In this regard, Meituan Delivery said that during the pilot period, drivers don’t need to pay for the smart helmets.