A relatively new company called Hi Tech Robotic Systemz (THRSL) says India’s Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s vision for Indian roads will make vehicles “accident-proof”.
In a recent meeting of the National Road Safety Council (NRSC), the minister advocated for fixed driving hours for commercial truck drivers like that of pilots, as well as a policy mandating on-board sleep detection sensors in commercial vehicles to reduce road accidents in India and give relief to truck drivers.
The logistics sector, which is a key enabler and the backbone of any growing economy, is primarily dependent on drivers who operate for long hours in tough working conditions.
SaveLIFE Foundation and Mahindra, in a study initiated in 2020, found that Indian truck drivers drive 12 hours a day covering about 417 km, with almost 50 percent of them admitting that they feel sleepy or tired while driving.
Many commercial drivers suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder that often goes undetected due to lack of testing. The condition is being further worsened due to the end consumer expectation of immediate delivery of their orders, which is leading to a 100-200 percent increase in daily distance travelled by drivers without breaks.
This results in unsafe and non-compliant driving which not only compromises road safety (Driver Sleep/Fatigue/Drowsiness is a major cause of accidents as per Rassi study) but also leads to the high cost of operations.
This kind of inattentive driving leads to harsh braking/acceleration and overspeeding which not only leads to loss of life but adversely impacts fuel consumption and maintenance costs.
India has the highest number of road fatalities globally, one fatality every 4 minutes (according to World Bank report), with over 70 percent of victims in the most productive age group of 18-45 years as per a report by the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways.
Most crash victims usually belong to poor families and are working-age adults. This loss of life not only affects an Individual’s life but also the entire family and dependents.
At present, most transport fleets do not have any monitoring device. At best, some fleets are equipped with telematics devices that are capable of recording only vehicle parameters and locations and they do not have any system to capture hours of driving and driving behaviour.
Not being able to capture hours of driving increases the risk of accidents and hence, impacts vehicle downtime.
Moreover, without monitoring driver behaviour, the fleet owners/managers have minimal control over turnaround time compliance for their end customers as they are at the mercy of the driver.
Hence, the fleet operator loses out on capturing the root cause of driver behaviour and cannot improve fleet operations.
With the end-customer demanding more visibility and more stringent delivery timelines, the fleet owners/managers are finding it difficult to identify levers for meeting customer needs.
Anuj Kapuria, founder and CEO, Hi-Tech Robotic Systemz, says: “We welcome Honorable Shri Nitin Gadkari Ji’s vision of making Indian roads safer. With fixed hours of driving and the promotion of On-Board Sleep Detection Sensors, we have a chance to leapfrog any developed country by implementing AI-based systems.
“We at THRSL have a mission of transforming logistics with autonomous mobility and AI-driven automation. Adoption of advanced technology will play a crucial role in improving road safety and bringing down the number of road accidents and casualties and will make Nitin Ji’s vision a reality.
“ADAS provides a split-second advantage to the driver’s response time, thus helping avert accidents and promoting safe driving behaviour. Our vision-based driver-assistive systems for trucks and buses enable active safety thereby preventing accidents.
“This will significantly improve safety on Indian Roads not only for drivers but also other vulnerable road users like pedestrians and two-wheelers.”
THRSL, is a pioneering intelligent enterprise AI and robotics company that delivers transformative AI, CV enabled robotic, and autonomous mobility solutions for businesses across multiple industry verticals.
The company is revolutionizing on-road logistics with its vision-based autonomous and driver assist solutions, aimed at enhancing safety, visibility, efficiency, and productivity by reducing inefficiencies in supply chain and fleet operations.
THRSL’s ADAS solutions, edge AI-based camera system, enable real-time risky incident detection and provide pre-emptive in-vehicle alerts and coaching, promoting safe driving behaviour and minimizing accidents.
Further, THRSL’s ADAS solutions re-enforce more compliant driving and help fleet owners/managers to meet customer expectations of timely delivery. In addition to giving pre-emptive alerts, the THRSL ADAS solution can also log hours of service along with driver authentication.
This AI-based solution is much more robust as compared to its counterpart in the US (electronic logging device) and with this solution, implementation of hours of service policy can become reality.
Being the first mover in the ADAS domain, with over 100 patents in this domain, THRSL is working very closely with key international and domestic OEMs as well as large technology-savvy commercial vehicle fleets and shippers’ to commercialize these systems.