After friend's death on bus, Dubai teen invents safety device

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on August 19, 2020 | Last updated on August 19, 2020 at 06.35 am
friend death, bus, Dubai teen, invents, safety device

(Supplied photo)

Sabeel said he was inspired to invent the device after losing his friend in a tragic incident in June 2019.

Devastated by the death of his classmate last year, a 13-year-old Indian student in Dubai has invented a smart device that can alert authorities in case a child is left behind on a school bus.

Sabeel Basheer, a Grade 8 pupil of the New Indian Model School, called the device Sabeels Smart Vigilant System (Sabeel) and he completed it after the summer break last year. It can send SOS messages to the police, ambulance, and school authorities if there's a student trapped on a bus.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Sabeel said he was inspired to invent the device after losing his friend, Mohammed Farhan Faisal, in a tragic incident in June 2019.

His father Basheer Moideen, a long-term UAE resident and employee of Toyota Corporation, said: "Farhan was six when he was accidentally left behind in a private bus at Al Manar Islamic Study Centre. He suffocated to death.

"My son also studies at the same centre, and we were there when the incident took place. We even tried resuscitating him, unfortunately, he left us."

The six-year-old boy's death had gained immense media attention and spurred a debate about child safety on school buses. For Sabeel, however, reading all these discussions wasn't enough, so he decided to do something about it.


"He was very upset for a long time when it happened. Over the summer that followed, he was determined to never let an accident like this happen again," Basheer said.

Sabeel believed that an alert system was needed on buses. "I created the first prototype last year. And this year, in March, I was able to present it to the Roads and Transport Authority," he said.

The young automobile electronics enthusiast is now looking forward to seeing the device become part of school bus regulatory systems in the years to come.


Sabeel Basheer's Smart Vigilant System device is connected to multiple sensors installed on the bus roof,. These sensors would be activated as soon as the bus engine is switched off.

"The system will automatically ring an alarm if any presence is detected and it helps get the driver's attention in case he is nearby. It ensures that no student is left behind on the bus," he said.

If a child is left behind, it also automatically opens the bus doors, flashes bus lights, turns on hazard lights, and the bus horns.

"It can send messages to the school transport management departments, ambulances, and other services," he added.

In case a collision or an accident is detected, the device also sends an SOS to the authorities, based on the impact.

Sabeel hopes his invention can help prevent all child deaths on board a school bus in the future.

His device was seen by the Emirates Transport in March and he received a recommendation letter from the authority for his efforts. 


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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