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Saturday , 30 September 2023

Improving Road Safety through Smart Data

There is a need to have smart technologies that can collect traffic data, can measure vehicles weight, vehicle speed, traffic congestions, pedestrian volume, vehicle classifications, traffic signal equipment, 24×7 video surveillance system, smart toll system etc.

Sharma further added, “A quality traffic data is proportional to road safety analysis. In developed countries, transport agencies collect traffic data for Mid-Block Volume counts, Queues Length Surveys, Gap Analysis, Intersection Counts or Junction Counts, Origin- Destination Surveys, Stop-Delay Counts, Roundabout Counts, Pedestrian counts, Bicycle counts etc. If we have all these types of data, then we can improve road safety in better way.”

According to Innovary’s observation in India, government agencies are collecting traffic data for multiple vehicle classifications (up to 16 vehicle classes) that is not applicable and available technologies are getting irrelevant. Whereas countries like the UK and the US collect traffic data for maximum of seven vehicle classes and rarely do they need data for 12 vehicle classes. So, we are wasting a lot of time on vehicle classification rather than what we need.

In India, there are many private transport data collection agencies, but we do not have qualified team or equipped with latest technologies. They are still giving high importance in traditional data collection system.

Senthuran Karthikeyan, Director – India Operations, Datacorp Traffic explained, “One has to do periodic analysis of the whole thing. So, you will have to analyse, do some forecasting. You cannot wait until that road becomes totally nonusable and then try to look for solution. So, you would have to do projections periodically. There are several ways of projecting, you will have to create projections and simulations and then work out on different plans.

“Generally, there are many simulating software where you can put in the current conditions and then you know your projected conditions. You can do analysis of different kinds of simulations and predict what is going to happen. However, the most important thing is the quality of collection of the traffic data.

“The problem with India is that, we don’t have a very good model for India. Most of the things are designed in the western world. What works in other countries may not work here as the conditions are unique.”

Roads are safer today because of technologies such as seat belts, but the future holds many more ways that technology can save and improve lives on the road. HERE Technologies, is a global leader in mapping and location platform services to individuals and companies. Stanimira Koleva, SVP Asia Pacific, HERE Technologies, said, “From a HERE perspective, the source data is collected via multiple mediums such as HERE True drives, Probes, community inputs and various third party and government sources.

The same data is ingested on cloud made available for seamless content creation across globe.

“Our Mumbai team (dominant hub of content creation) consumes the collected sources and develops digital representation of real world. The content then further gets delivered on various cadence to customers in different format such as RDF/GDF basis their requirements.

“We believe India has the capability and technology to process the data. HERE Technologies believes in that and hence our investment in India where we have approximately 4000 employees doing just that. Within India, we definitely have the capability as we have made about 30 Million Map Changes in India in 2018 along. However, the key challenges for us in India is not having Lidar equipped cars to collect data as it is not allowed and restricted by the government.

With India continuing to urbanize, it is palpable that a comprehensive approach with a strong institutional mechanism and a holistic strategy is what is needed to ensure the success of road safety initiatives.

Preeti Swaminathan


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