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My Tech Journey with Aaditya Agrawal: PulledOver App.

❝We can all make a small difference despite our age or where we are at the moment❞.

❝As featured in Business insider,  Pixel 11 TV, and American Kahane.❞ ~ Aaditya Agarwal


Police officers

❝Primed.. with words like “violent”, “crime”, “stop”, “investigate”, “arrest” and “shoot” increased their visual attention toward black faces over white faces.❞ ~


Of white people

❝34% of black people and 64% of people of other races have a pro-white, anti-black bias. ❞ ~

❝We can use technology to bridge a gap and provide solutions that help people out❞ ~ Aaditya Agrawal.

My Tech Journey with Aaditya Agrawal: PulledOver App.


In this talk, Aaditya Agarwal shares his tech journey in developing and building the PulledOver App. The speaker talks about his enthusiasm for building apps. And how at the age of just 17, he has been featured in Business Insider,  Pixel 11 TV, and American Kahne for his work on PulledOver.  Aaditya talks about the motivation behind why he decided to build the app – to empower users to instantly record examples of police scrutiny amongst the Asian community and communities of color and share it and discusses his experience around how people were being treated differently because of the color of the skin in e.g. the supermarket whilst living overseas. Shortly after his move to the US a year ago he too began to notice the broken relationship between the police officers and the people of color, and talks about his journey to  ‘just set out to see what [he] could do to try and help out’.



00:08  thank you for joining us today pleasure to be here so excited to have and welcome Aaditya Agarwal for this my tech journeys fireside chat another day I want to start I’m so impressed you know we just had another youth panel I don’t know if you got a chance to listen in did you know I wasn’t able to do so yeah but definitely check out the recording of that session was an awesome session on you know great discussion and so I just flowed with our next generation 

00:43 yep it’s great to see um how we can all do all make a small difference um despite our age or uh where we are at the moment absolutely yeah it all starts with the small difference I like that you have to start somewhere so Aaditya this is such a fun and interesting discussion too and it’s my privilege and honor to interview you how old are you, Aaditya, right now I’m a 17-year-old high school student I’m a senior currently in high school and yep I started coding three-four years ago um just did it because I enjoyed doing it um through watching youtube videos and blogs but now I really want my work to have some meaning um and that’s where it’s been so far 

01:36 yeah this is so awesome and I know that you have the first app that you built we will talk about the next one but the first app the connected app that you have built um it’s at your age most kids are you know playing video games and making sure they spend time with their friends and here you are making apps and making sure that you’re creating and making a difference in the world social impact initiatives how did that happen to tell us about your journey right

02:09 um so as I told you about three-four years ago um I started by just making apps for fun, uh but then sport connect was my first big app where I tried to connect people who play the same sports so I thought that it was something that was lacking in the market um I’m a big sports fan myself okay so um so it’s connected for a particular uh sport is it for also great the great thing about it is if you play any sport you can go on there you can choose the sport you play, oh wow you find others nearby who play the same sport nice yep so um that was a great experience to build the support was really good for that as well um and then that really segued into pulled over yeah and you just got featured in business insider and wow amazing so tell us a little bit about why you started the purpose behind your developing pulled over app yeah

03:08  so there were many quite big reasons why I started pulled over uh one personal reason uh for me was um I actually when I lived in Switzerland before this um I went to an international school I had friends of all races um those of color as well and when I noticed that some people were being treated differently because of the color of the skin in a supermarket if they were being scrutinized just because the color of the skin was different um I didn’t think that was right when you see it in the news it’s you see a number but then when you see it and experience it in real life um you really understand the significance so um it started with that and then when I moved to In the u.s last year I noticed that there’s this broken relationship between the police officers and the people that live here um and um this is especially the case with people of color so I just set out to see what I could do to try and help out with that 

04:15   that’s a great gesture Aaditya so how does pull over a set itself apart from the other police recording apps that are out there right um so personally I see it as more than just a recording app um so just to let you know how it works yeah or you log on to the app okay um there’s no need to sign in or anything um you just log in and with one hold of a button you can notify your emergency contact okay and they’re automatically notified in the background and once that’s happening then you can start recording your experience with a police officer and then pulled over gives you the opportunity to share the video you just recorded with the rest of the pulled over community

05:02  so this way um if you have a good experience with the police officer you can share it with other pulled over users and they can share it with their friends and family and you can show that there are many good police officers in our nation as well and if you have a slightly poor experience with the police officer it sets as a reminder for them to hopefully behave better in the future um

05:25 when people talk about them and um spread awareness that’s cool that you’re celebrating you your the app is essentially celebrating good police officers as well right and I think it is good to have there are always two sides to the coin so it’s good that you are letting them also tell a good story and also if somebody had a bad the experience there is something they could do about it so

 05:48   I think I’m still confused about how your app is different than the other like for example my the smartphone has a video camera right I could easily as soon as first of all so there are two questions if I’m being pulled over at that time suddenly I don’t have they won’t even let me touch anything right so how will I have the time to pull out my phone and choose an app and start recording

06:15  Actually um the laws for that rule are different in different states okay you exactly do allow the person who’s being pulled over to start recording um alternatively I’m also I’ve also gotten the request to work on a voice-only feature where it’s voice-activated so that’s something I’m currently working on where you can use um voice commands and it would start recording and start recording the voice and then share the video as well 

06:42  so um but for your first question what sets it apart um I have you pulled over as more of a community were not just an app where you share videos where you try to ins spread good um experiences and try and inspire the rest to become better so it’s really is a community what I’m trying to build here nice and we all know that community is the ultimate thing like once you build the community and if the community supports it then that’s the way to do it 

07:14 so I’m still trying to think so if I’m pulled over and I start recording using the pulled over app it will let me after I’ve recorded it will let me post uh send a message to my emergency contact is that how it’ll work right 

07:28  um so actually that’s how it worked about a month ago um so you would first have to start recording then once your recording was done it would take you to your native messaging app and you would have to click send but um because this was a feature that Google doesn’t let there hold on hold on hold on this is a great question and I don’t want to position it properly so I have heard that you actually asked and convinced even tech giants like Google to back up back out and give you access to things that you know they don’t usually allow anyone to do that right that was a big big big step uh for pullover because they understood it was for a good cause um it’s it’s permission they don’t usually allow in very rare instances so I had to email the managers themselves to talk to them about it explain to them why this feature is so necessary and why it can make a big difference to the users of the app

08:30  um and after weeks of doing that they finally did allow the permission wow what that meant for the app was um now it automatically sends your emergency contact a message in the background wow you don’t have to worry about going into your messaging app and clicking uh clicking send it do that all in the background for you, so you have left to worry about if you’ve been pulled over

08:55  that is amazing, like I have a son your age who is just learning how to drive and so I mean it would be perfect for even a new driver right I mean mistakes happen and things happen and sometimes they might get pulled over and they don’t even know what to do right as a first-time driver, they may get scared so something like this that helps you know it automatically reaches out to your emergency contact um that is amazing Aditya and I also love the fact kudos to you and your effort that you were able to reach out to google shows perseverance on your part and like ownership

 09:35  yeah awesome job so what has the feedback been for this app within the community um the feedback has been really it’s been awesome to see um first as you know as you mentioned is covered by a new source like business insider that really reached out to many more people so they could benefit from this tool um then being covered on news channels such as pixel 11 tv and American Kahane

 10:03  um but um what’s been the best to see is receiving emails from people saying how it would help them feel safer or it would help their kid feel safer their husband feels safer um those have been really the things that have inspired me to continue working on this and um and even just people wanting to volunteer or suggesting new features um I try and read every email I’m sent and try to respond to as many as possible as well so um just that building this app together as a community and taking it forward, that’s the idea

10:42  what are some of the features that you’re working on in your next edition right so as I mentioned before this um voice-only mode where um it’s voice-activated and you don’t even have to touch the device yeah um but the important thing to keep in mind is that you have to make the experience as streamlined and easy to use as possible because the last thing you want to be worried about if you’ve been pulled over is oh my google account isn’t letting me sign in or the app is crashing so that’s been a huge obstacle in this journey because you try and implement as many features as possible but at the same time you have to make it easy to use so someone who’s in a panicky situation shouldn’t have to worry about that

11:31  yeah I’m so glad that you’re thinking of user experience the privacy and privacy by design and all these things right big into the design of your app that is so awesome to see, I do have one last question for you but I also see there are some audience questions I’m going to take those um do we have so yeah isabella asks are including stuff like tips on how to deal with police in your app

12:02  um as of yet, that is exactly a feature I’ve gotten requested many times um it’s something I’m trying to do my research on because you don’t want to include tips that are false but yeah that is something I hope to include in one of the following versions of the app nice, uh bruce asks our police identified by name by batch number what is on the road map 

12:28  I’m sorry I don’t quite the police the cops who stopped the person are identified by name by batch number or what’s on the roadmap for that um right now they’re not um they’re not identified at all um because I think there is a privacy concern with that as well so I might have to talk to um the officials for an implementation like that but um I see what the question is asking and I think it would definitely be helpful to um get the officer’s name if you have if you’re recording him but as of right now I think there are privacy concerns with that so I would have to speak with officials before yeah 

13:14  so I’m trying to think do the officials uh have their name tag or is it not that again with different states it varies I think most of them do have that um but um in terms of the app it mainly serves as just a recorder so it depends on which police officer it is which state it is 

13:36  so Taurian asks what sorts of concerns have police departments raised have you heard any concerns from them, so actually um their response has been really positive as well because they see it as um if they’re doing a good job it’s celebrating their good policing right um this pulled over is only meant to um help out the police officers who are not doing such a good job so if you’re uh if you do a good job um as a police officer and you’re proud of what you do um you find this app really welcoming um because you would like people to know that there are much good police officers in our country as well so their experience, for the most part, has been really um they’ve told me that it’s something that um they actually enjoy it being there because if they’re doing a good job and that experience is being shared by with other people that’s a good thing for them 

14:32   I agree with that yeah I mean we all need a celebration of good stories so this is a great way to do that so I already asked what’s on the roadmap for the app but I want to leave you with one last question what is on the roadmap for you what’s on the horizon for a young entrepreneur and tech enthusiast like yourself

14:53  um so um I still have to go to university um I’m hoping to continue making apps especially working on pulled over um and really just making a difference with whatever work I do um I think that this framework that I’ve used for pulled over has many different implications in different societies as well for example women’s brutality women’s safety that’s something I’m looking at and there are a few issues in our societies which could benefit from the use of technology so my focus is really on how we can use technology to bridge a gap and provide solutions and help people out perfect answer 10 out of 10 Aditya great job it was a pleasure talking to you and all the very best for your future endeavors take care thanks for joining us today!


Aditya Agarwal

CEO PulledOver



Shilpi Agarwal

DataEthics4All Founder & CEO, Social Impact Leader, CEO of Social Strategi LLC, Member of the Data Ethics Advisory Council