Over 30 million cars, 37 million motorcycles, approximately 3.1 million public transport vehicles, and millions of other types of vehicles occupy Indian roads today. It comes as no surprise that road accidents claim the maximum number of lives and cause large numbers of casualties daily. Over 1.5 lakh road accident fatalities were recorded in our country in 2018 and the stats of 2019 are yet to arrive.
The government and many NGOs are trying to put in schemes that prevent road accidents, like increasing penalties for traffic offences, added safety features being made mandatory etc. Traffic management is being made stricter to ensure maximum adherence to road safety rules. And yet, with over 1.3 billion citizens, traffic management remains complex and such measures are in some way or the other falling short.
Modern Technology could be the bridge to this gap. Utilization of functionalities and advanced features that are present in modern vehicles to make it safer, spreading awareness on the laws and regulations that one needs to follow on roads etc are all ways in which technology can aid the cause.
Here are some initiatives by NGOs and the government to reduce accident-related incidents and spread awareness on road safety among the people -
ArriveSAVE - This is a Punjab-based NGO that is striving for road safety, accident awareness and traffic management, working alongside the traffic authorities of Punjab. ArriveSAVE is also working on various initiatives that use software tools for real-time monitoring of vehicles on the roads. The NGO is helping the government in its immediate relief services and other awareness models to empower and educate citizens.
SaveLife Foundation - Save life foundation along with Vodafone India created an app that averts distracted driving. The app aims to educate people about the consequences of using mobile phones while driving. The app also allows the user to enable a distraction-free mode while driving. It automatically detects road accidents and initiates an emergency response to help victims.
Uber-BADD - In a joint initiative, Uber along with MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways) launched Uber-BADD in cities like Kolkata and Pune where it has set up kiosks at different bars and restaurants so that the people refrain from driving under alcohol influence.
Below, we have listed some technologies put forth by the government for traffic management and safety -
Speed Governors - A speed governor is essentially a device that caps the natural maximum speed of the vehicle to a lower speed limit that is ideal for automobile safety. These kinds of devices have a series of sensors that can detect how fast a vehicle is moving and if a vehicle crosses the limit set by it, it automatically restricts the flow of air and fuel to the engine thereby limiting the speed. Cabs, rental cars services etc are integrating these devices into their vehicles to prevent road accidents.
IoT-based technologies - The government and different organisations are using technology as a tool to spread awareness and gain insightful data and patterns forom road accidents. Using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Big data, the government is attempting to decipher data to fill the gaps in improving road safety. By identifying unsafe intersections, risks and the shortcomings of transport systems can be mitigated quicker, thereby enabling an analysis of transportation routes, simulating crossovers and road conditions.
Mobile Apps - Mobile App technology is revolutionizing the world of technology and development. With regards to road safety, different apps are currently available in app stores, that allow users to book vehicles, see and avoid traffic congestions, take shorter routes etc. Such apps and the use of smartphones are helping and shaping various social activities to support the cause.
With the help of such technologies, it will only be a matter of time before our roads are made safer.