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Special Content


Issue no 32, 04-10 November 2023

NHAI's Digital Drive: Steering India Toward Safer Roads

Today, we live in a world where digital interventions have permeated every facet of our lives, making our daily routines more convenient and efficient. Road traffic management is one such realm where the transformative power of technology has not only brought about greater convenience but also substantially enhanced safety.

India being a nation teeming with a rapidly growing population, the importance of road safety cannot be overlooked. With a total length of roads and highways spanning a staggering 63,72,613 km, India has the world's second-largest road network, serving as the lifeline for the movement of vehicles and trade. However, this growing network and the surge in urbanisation mean an inevitable increase in the number of vehicles on our roads.

A report by the Transport Research Wing, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, reveals that at least one in ten indivi-duals worldwide who succumb to road accidents, are from India. The year 2021 bore witness to a staggering 4,12,432 road accidents, with the age group of 18-45 years bearing the brunt of these incidents.

Road accidents result from a complex interplay of factors, but a significant contributor is the failure to adapt to the ever-changing traffic environment and a lack of adherence to traffic regulations. In response to this reality, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has embarked on a mission to establish a comprehensive system that monitors road usage and significantly reduces response time during road crises. This mission brings us to the forefront of digital innovation in road safety.

The cornerstone of this mission is the Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS), a high-tech enforcement system implemented on National High-ways and Expressways. With ATMS playing a pivotal role in achieving this objective the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has set a laudable goal of reducing road mishaps by 50% by 2030.

The recent upgrades to ATMS standards and specifications are a testament to NHAI's commitment towards making Indian roads safer. These upgrades explore the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to mitigate road disasters. The new systems focus on digital enforcement of traffic regulations, ushering in a new era of road safety in India.

 

VIDES

The introduction of the Video Incident Detection and Enforcement System (VIDES) is a standout feature of the upgraded ATMS. VIDES is designed to recognise 14 distinct incidents, including pedestrian crossings, the presence of animals on highways, and violations such as wrong-lane driving and seatbelt/ helmet rule breaches. It doesn't stop there; VIDES instantly alerts patrol vehicles or ambulances, generates electronic fines (e-challans), and relays alerts to Variable Messaging Boards (VMBs). What's more, the system sends real-time notifications to the Rajmargyatra mobile app, accessible to nearby travellers.

 

The enhanced coverage is a key feature of these updates, with cameras set to be installed every 10 kilometres along the National Highways. These cameras are equipped with advanced Command and Control Centres every 100 kilometres, integrating various camera feeds to create a more efficient and responsive road safety system.

Another remarkable enhancement is the integration of the Vehicle Speed Detection System (VSDS) into VIDES, optimising the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. These technological advancements play a pivotal role in enhancing road safety on Indian highways and expressways.

TMCS

In addition to VIDES, the upgraded ATMS introduces the Traffic Monitoring Camera System (TMCS) to be installed every kilometre along the National Highways. TMCS comes with advanced features, including automated accident detection and recognition of stalled vehicles. This system will also generate tamper-proof records for post-event analysis, further contributing to improved road safety.

 

The NHAI is taking a holistic approach by deploying traffic police representatives and providing them with workstations in the Command & Control Centres. This will ensure the effective implementation of the upgrades and enhance real-time coordination and response. Sharing camera feeds online is another step towards better traffic management and, most importantly, a reduction in road accidents.

The implementation of Digital Highways is a significant part of the plan, aiming to develop an Optical Fibre Cables (OFC) infrastructure. This will optimise the transmission of data across the network for effective disaster response.

Having refined the ATMS policy with several sophisticated features as elucidated above, NHAI aims to tighten up its traffic regulation strategies and ensure a future where road usage is seamless and, most importantly, safe. However, this journey also underscores the vital role that citizens must play by exhibiting responsible road-use behaviour.

As we embrace the digital age, it is heartening to see technology being harnessed for road safety. These advancements make the traffic on our roads more managed and offer safety to all who traverse them.

ATMS - Advanced Traffic Management System: Key Features

 

Video Incident Detection and Enforcement System (VIDES)

·         Focuses on enforcing traffic rules using cameras

·         Recognises 14 different incidents, such as overcrowded vehicles, wrong-lane driving, animals on the road, and pedestrian crossings

·         Alerts patrolling vehicles and ambulances, issues electronic fines, displays alerts on Variable Messaging Boards, or informs nearby travelers through the 'Rajmargyatra' mobile app.

Traffic Monitoring Camera System (TMCS)

·         To be installed every 1 kilometer along the National Highway.

·         Equipped with advanced features like automatic accident detection and recognising stalled vehicles.

 

Advantages of Upgraded ATMS

·         To smoothen traffic flow

·         Enhance road safety

·         Provide real-time information to users

·         Provide emergency assist-ance

·         Alert abnormal road/weather conditions

·         Reduce journey time and inconvenience

·         Penalise traffic rule violation

 

Rajmargyatra App: Key Features

·         Citizen-centric mobile application that equips travelers with essential traffic information on Indian National Highways.

·         Gives real-time weather conditions, and timely broadcast notifications details about nearby toll plazas, petrol pumps, hospitals, hotels, and other essential services.

·         Offers an inbuilt complaint redressal and escalation mechanism through which users can report highway-related issues.

·         Facilitates FASTag services through its integration with bank portals and makes it convenient to avail monthly passes.

·         Notifies of overspeeding to encourage responsible and safe driving behavior.

 

Compiled by Induja Tyagi and Kaushikee, EN Team.

Source: PIB, NHAI