A multi-stakeholder project with predictive power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at its core to curb road accidents involving Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) fleet is all set to gain momentum.
It will be extended to 200 buses following satisfactory first phase that covered 14 buses, a senior official of TSRTC told the formal launch of project iRASTE by Industries and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao, at the IIIT-Hyderabad on Tuesday.
iRASTE, which is about shaping Intelligent Solutions for Road Safety through Technology and Engineering, seeks to prevent accidents through a mechanism of alerts to drivers generated by deploying AI and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. INAI, which is an applied AI research centre, at IIIT-H, tech giant Intel, Uber and TSRTC are part of the project.
The outcome will be of significance considering the lives saved. TSRTC Executive Director (Engineering) C. Vinod Kumar said the Corporation’s spend by way of annual compensation to accident victims is ₹ 50 crore.
The plan is to bring in more buses plying on national and State highways under the project. Key persons associated with the project implementation said feed from the road-facing cameras installed in the buses helps send alerts to drivers about potential accidents besides generating data about black and grey spots on highways that in turn can be addressed with engineering fixes.
Some buses also get driver-facing cameras that help keep a tab on the driver, including whether he is showing signs of drowsiness or using mobile phones while driving.
Bodhyaan, a car data capture platform set up at IIIT-H with sensors – cameras, LIDARs, night-vision cameras and Radars; and MicroLabs, set up in collaboration with CSIR-IGIB to provide genomic surveillance for communicable diseases to point of care, were also launched by the Minister.
IIIT-H said Bodhyaan 1.0 is equipped with six cameras for a full surround view, a Lidar sensor and high compute for data capture and processing. The platform can be used by researchers, academics and start-ups in the country to test algorithms or methods in vehicle navigation, data collection or anything related to Indian roads and research.
Mr. Rao said the State is at the forefront of encouraging innovation in emerging technologies and was also part of a few initiatives, including Saagu Baagu project for the farmers. Appreciating the three projects, the Minister said the need of the hour is to evolve technology solutions that address local challenges. “We need solutions like IRASTE... because our challenges are different,” he said.
He assured IIIT-H Director P.J. Narayanan of State government support for the Institute’s Centre for Quantum Science and Computing. Intel India Country Head Nivruti Rai said INAI, which is a result of a collaborative effort between Intel India, Telangana government and IIIT-H, and launched two years ago, has been driving critical projects to identify and solve population-scale challenges in healthcare and smart mobility.