A smart solution to safe travel: Is connected vehicle an answer? (Part-1)
Guest post by
Ashish Verma, Senior Consultant, Infosys
I heard this news a few days ago about a train accident in Spain and the cause of it was its high speed. Train was travelling at 190km/hour instead of 80km/hour. The first thought that hit my mind if there was a way to avoid it. Was there a way to signal or alert the driver that the train has exceeded the permissible speed limit? Could we have reduced the speed of the train when that deadly turn derailed it? This is just one example, every day we keep hearing about such accidents around us. And what happens after such accidents? An enquiry commission is appointed which ultimately links the accident with one of the possible causes like over-speeding, signal violation, driving under intoxication, negligence etc. But do such commissions work with authorities to ensure that such mishaps will not be repeated in future or how travel can be made safe for all?
These questions are not limited only to train travel but are pertinent to any mode of travel like road, rail and air. With increasing traffic and limited transport infrastructure, it has become vital to ensure safe travel for all. Chances of occurrence of accidents such as above could have drastically reduced, had the driver been informed in time about the approaching dangerous curve and he had reduced the speed to permissible limit. Given the advances in information technology, shouldn't our travel mode be safer and more comfortable?
The society at large expects a technology driven solution to further reduce the occurrence of such accidents. However before talking about any solution, let me mention some of the key requirements which can make our travel safe. Readers of the blog are welcome to further enhance this list.
- Driver is alert all the time while driving
- Driver identifies road or rail track conditions coming ahead and accordingly controls his driving speed and takes extra precautions for passenger safety
- Driver is informed about unsafe road conditions and provided with an alternate route
- Driver should be alerted in advance about any potential fault in his vehicle to avoid any en route breakdown
- Alert messages to be delivered to the vehicle driver that are not related only to his own vehicle parameters but also that of other vehicles in the vicinity
- Audio or visual communication about accident prone areas and permissible speed limits are vital for driver
Most of the above key requirements can be supported by connected vehicle (CV) technology. This technology helps in sensing & capturing vehicle related critical parameters from inbuilt vehicle components. It can generate useful alerts and show massages on vehicle dashboard using smart electronic device fitted on vehicle dashboard. It has capability to enable vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, USA is extensively exploring connected vehicle technology and running its pilot project with nearly 3000 smart cars to evaluate its pros and cons on safety parameters.
I request readers to explore and provide their comments on the use of CV technology for safe travel. I will also share my point of view in my next blog on this subject.