18 Aug IoT will help run smooth public transport
Moving across the city in public transport is not the first choice of any traveler in India. But with technology intervention and the right infrastructure use of public transport can be encouraged, says K. Swaminathan, vice president of Bosch IT and Business Solutions. In an interview with Shadma Shaikh, Swaminathan talks about how India can leverage Internet of Things (IoT) and technology to deliver effective public transport. Edited excerpts:
Q: What are the basic challenges of public transport in India?
A: An effective public transport system delivers on four dimensions. It should be fast. It should be safe. It should be clean and it should be comfortable. People in India don’t use public transport because of absence of these factors. We can use technology on each of these dimensions to provide effective transport.
Q: What kind of technology are we talking about here?
A: Most people in India avoid public transport to save time. Public buses or metros cover a designated route. We need to target the last mile connectivity. Time taken to reach the metro station or bus stop and to reach the desired destination from the dropped stop can be minimized by using an app that can book the next vehicle, say an auto-rickshaw, which will be waiting to pick you up from drop point to take you to the destination. We also have in place a transport payment card, called MMTS (Multi-Modal Ticketing Solutions) that can be used across any transport mode, such as, auto, metro, bus, where you can pay using a single card. This can also be extended for renting bicycles.
Q: How can IoT and technology help ensure safety in transport?
A: Tracking and monitoring devices using IoT can ensure safety of transport. We already have sensors that indicate possible collision with vehicles. Apart from tracking vehicles and their activities, we also have a video surveillance system that already has cameras over traffic signals in the city to detect over-speeding. Also, the same cameras help in efficient traffic management and in case it detects accidents it places an e-call to alert control room. Blind spot detection, which is a problem that a driver faces, where there is a certain angle that can’t be monitored from the either of the mirrors can be solved by an algorithm that triggers an alert if a vehicle is seen at the mentioned angle of the spot.
Q: But the problem in India is not about inventing a technology. The main challenge is implementing it. Do you think India is ready for these technological innovations?
A: I think it’s just a matter of time. While other countries progress in linear scale, India moves exponentially. More than innovations or investment, India needs regulation to implement the technology. There are regulations on certain roads, where cars need to have four occupants in the car for the car to be allowed to travel on the road. To implement something like driverless cars in India, we can have dedicated lanes for fast-moving vehicles.
Q: Can regulations be implemented at machine level?
A: Definitely; we don’t need human intervention for everything. That’s how IoT comes into picture. Vehicles can have sensors that detect permissible speed limit designed for a road and not allow the speed to accelerate more than that limit.
Changing lanes can be restricted by a vehicle if it senses another vehicle in its close vicinity. A car to car communication, where slowing down of a car ahead slows down the car following it, can also be implemented.
Source: The Asian Age