Sweden eyes geo-fencing technology to prevent terror attacks

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-03 01:42:56|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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STOCKHOLM, Nov. 02 (Xinhua) -- Sweden is considering introducing digital geo-fences in urban areas to protect cities against potential terror attacks, Swedish TT News Agency reported on Thursday.

In April, a 39-year-old rejected asylum seeker from Uzbekistan drove a van into crowds of people on a busy shopping street in central Stockholm. Five people were killed in the terror attack, and now Sweden's infrastructure minister Tomas Eneroth wants to introduce geo-fencing to help prevent similar attacks from being carried out in the future, according to TT.

"The technology exists, but there have been no large-scale tests of it," said Eneroth, who hopes to see a pilot project carried out in Sweden next year.

The geo-fencing technology can be used to stop unauthorized vehicles from entering a geographically defined area. It can also be used digitally to limit vehicles' speed.

Since the April attack, Swedish authorities have tried to improve security in cities like Stockholm by introducing, for instance, more physical barriers on pedestrianized streets.

On Drottninggatan, the site of the attack, the number of lion-shaped concrete barriers has doubled. There are now around 60 of them placed along the busy shopping street.

"The security on our pedestrianized streets has improved," said Daniel Hellden, Stockholm's traffic commissioner.

"What we need is a system whereby no heavy vehicles can drive inside the city perimeters without a digital box that regulates speed. If a vehicle were to drive too fast or if it were to enter a location where it is not authorized to be, then the vehicle would automatically stop," Hellden said.

In September, the Swedish government assigned the Swedish Transport Administration to look into the possibilities of using geo-fencing technology. Now, the government has also tasked the Civil Contingencies Agency with increasing security in public places, for instance by mapping out the division of responsibilities between various authorities in order better to coordinate efforts.