The Uttar Pradesh government is trying out anti-collision devices on state transport buses to bring down high accident rates.
As a pilot project, six buses plying on Lucknow-New Delhi and Lucknow-Gorakhpur routes have been fitted with these Artificial Intelligence (AI) based equipment that gives alerts to the driver to avoid collision.
If successful, the plan is to equip 12,500 public transport buses with this equipment. This sensor technology will caution drivers if they fall asleep at the wheel or over-speed. It will also alert the driver if the bus comes dangerously close to another vehicle.
In the six buses equipped with this sensor, there has been no accident till now. The sensor fitted at the front of the bus continuously monitors objects in the range of 180 feet and cautions the bus driver with a beep sound, in case of any danger of collision.
Another sensor fitted near the steering wheel cautions the driver in case of napping and over-speeding. The AI automatically starts applying the breaks in case the driver ignores the beep alert to avoid collision.
The sensor is designed to alert and assist the bus driver only when the vehicle is moving over 40 km per hour speed. It does not automatically apply breaks when the speed is below 40 km per hour. The alarm will not disturb the bus driver when the vehicle is running below the threshold speed.
“The AI based sensor continuously monitors bus drivers on six parameters and alerts them in case of any breach on those fronts. It produces a beep sound to caution the driver to take pre-emptive measure,” said Raj Shekhar Managing Director, Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corp (UPSRTC).
“The initial quotation shared by the company was Rs 42,000 per unit, but we will try and get a better price as the government will go for a bulk procurement and annual maintenance contract with the company,” Shekhar added.
According to an official figure, more than 700 people have died and over 7,600 injured in nearly 5,000 accidents along the 165-km-long Yamuna Expressway since it was opened in 2012.
In July this year, 29 people were killed and 18 injured after a Lucknow-Delhi state-run bus skidded off the Yamuna Expressway and fell into a large drain in Uttar Pradesh.