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  • Writer's pictureAnurag Priyadarshi

“Driving Road Safety and Traffic Management through Emerging Technologies”-Organised by WRI

The year 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride with the entire world going through the pandemic.

We welcomed 2021 with positivity , growth and peace.

We started our year as a part of a webinar hosted by WRI, on 12th jan 2021. Theme of the virtual event was “Driving Road Safety and Traffic Management through Emerging Technologies''. It was a brilliant and insightful session on how AI can be used in the traffic industry to enhance the traffic management.

In the event , problems faced by the government towards the traffic industry were discussed and also how technology can help to solve these problems.

In today’s era of technology,AI and innovation based on the traffic industry plays an impetus for more secure and better managed roads. These technologies offer solutions to solve complex issues and reduce labour intensive work.Event addressed many other key points on needs and ways to integrate relevant technology tools in road safety and traffic management governance frameworks.

The webinar was hosted by Mr.Tarun George , Senior Project Associate at WRI India ,

and the speakers were as below.

  • Opening Remarks by Mr. Amit Bhatt, Executive Director, Integrated Transport, WRI India

  • Mr. Anil Kumar IPS, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Hyderabad City Police

  • Mr. Vijay Kumar IPS, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Cyberabad Commissionerate

  • Mr. Ziauddin Mohammed, Chief Engineer, GHMC

  • Mr.Visweswara Rao, IBI Group

  • Several technology companies

  • Moderated by Ms. Chaitanya Kanuri, Manager, WRI India

Event was commenced by an introductory address by :

Mr. Amit Bhatt-Executive Director WRI India, He discussed the statistics of road safety in India.Road traffic crashes are an epidemic in India. It is not only a public health issue, where around 1,50,000 people lose their lives on Indian roads every year, but also an economic one. The country loses $58 billion, or 3% of its GDP, every year due to road traffic crashes.What is even more striking is that India constitutes of 12-13% of Global road traffic death” Road safety in urban areas is a complex issue, majority people who are killed in these areas are pedestrian cyclists followed by two-wheelers and AI plays a major role to improvise this particular issue.Startups and new technologies that are equipped to handle these issues at a scalable level is the need of the hour.

This was followed by a brief presentation from various startups on emerging technologies and how they can help to tackle the underlying issues discussed by the Government officials and other key industry stakeholders. Participating technology start ups are mentioned below with their respective URL for quick reference on their initiatives.

Post the technology presentation, Mr. Anil Kumar- Additional commissioner of police,Hyderabad spoke about the traffic violations. Hyderabad traffic police are at present concentrating more on violators. There are 10 kinds of violations which are being monitored from the last 4 years and had successful results due to enforcement on these violations. Keeping aside these issues, we need new technologies which help people follow traffic rules. Major points on traffic signals timing for day and night were also discussed. There is a need to keep the variation in traffic timing as the morning traffic is significantly higher than the night traffic. If traffic time for night time signals can be reduced , people will be more inclined to stick to the signal. If we can use technology to fix this, people will tend to follow signals and automatically accidents will be reduced.We must think in a new direction to achieve road safety..

We should employ technologies which are more aligned to traffic management in addition to traffic violations.He also spoke about uniform distribution of technology implementation throughout the city and not being restricted to certain junctions.

Mr Vijay Kumar IPS- Deputy commissioner of police Cyberabad also added to above points and spoke about how traffic management is the biggest task in Cyberabad during peak hours, because the core business city is in Cyberabad. The whole IT crowd creates traffic during office commute time. Aslo multiple link roads were developed adding to the concern. We need to look into the post covid scenario when work from home will stop.

However, he said in Cyberabad more than traffic management road safety is being focussed , and presently there is no technology being used for the same.

Instead of focusing on traffic violations, we need to focus more on lane discipline with road infrastructure.Technology partner should instead of focussing on traffic enforcement should focus on road safety and traffic management.He also spoke about incident management as only junctions are being monitored and there will be no one between the junction, so technology should identify the anomaly between the junction which can be communicated to right people at right time to avoid major conflict. .

Mr. Ziauddin Mohammed, Chief Engineer, GHMC:

From the GHMC perspective Mr. Ziauddin Mhd. Chief engineer GHMC talked about the road maintenance. He said we take road maintenance,depending upon the requirement of the road and quality of the road and we also face budgetary control. As a part of a comprehensive road management programme by the government,GHMC have identified all the main roads and handed it over to 7 agencies , for 5 years. 300 kms of road lane had been maintained during lockdown with the help of police departments. Also, as a strategic road development programme, they are also planning to make several junctions to be signal free at major intersections..

The other most important part is pedestrian safety. They are making more than 100

Footover bridges with lift and escalators to encourage the usage has been planned for the safety of pedestrian.One other major issue is the speed of vehicles during the nights. The board of maximum speed is not followed by any one in the night. We are looking for some technological improvement in this area.

Another technology with CCTVs which can be looked at are regular inputs regarding road management and road improvements.

Mr.Visweswara Rao, IBI Group said Hyderabad has always been in front to implement technology for traffic management.

Given this more than 20 different subsystems like legacy system ,variable message signs, public announcement system, ATCC were implemented as a part integrated traffic management system across Hyderabad .He also mentioned about the cross domain exchange of data which makes ITMS more powerful.He mentioned about few practical use cases where ITMS was utilised. For ex:ATCC(Automatic traffic counting and classification) system was really useful during the lockdown to monitor the imposition as it identified density of traffic movement. It was also used to alert police in case of a higher number of vehicles passing from a certain junction during the lockdown restriction.

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