Technology & traffic: making hilly roads safer

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The developed system can also be used for vehicle counting and its advanced versions will be able to recognize the loading of the vehicle.

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi student and faculty innovators have developed a smart road surveillance system to prevent sharp / blind corner accidents that result in deaths and injuries and improve traffic management. When there is heavy traffic, the manual interface for controlling and avoiding traffic accidents becomes a challenge, especially in hilly terrain.

To address this, Kala Venkata Uday, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering, IIT Mandi, along with his team at B.Tech. Students from Batch 2016-20 have developed a surveillance system that can be used for speed detection, vehicle counting, improved traffic control and road use using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Technologies.

The system developed consists of two layers of detection units on each side of a turn and two signal units to warn drivers. When a vehicle passes the two successive layers of detection units, the sensor system detects the speed, direction and type of the vehicle (two / four / multiple wheels). The recognized direction confirms whether the vehicle is approaching the turn and a corresponding signal (light / sound / barrier) is displayed on the other side to warn the driver of an oncoming vehicle. If the vehicle moves away from the curve, no signal is displayed. The signals are decided on the basis of speed, direction, incline and vehicle type.

The developed system can also be used for vehicle counting and its advanced versions will be able to recognize the loading of the vehicle. This data can be used for improved traffic management, road use, traffic flow in single-lane tunnels and restricted areas through the use of AI and ML tools. The forecast of traffic jams, increased traffic flows and diversion warnings can also be generated after sufficient data has been collected. Since the developed system is of a mechanical nature, it can work in any weather and the data can be encrypted and shared with those involved. “While existing technologies are effective, their effectiveness is drastically reduced in adverse weather conditions, because our system is robust,” added Uday.

In a prototype development phase, the system costs less than 20,000 rupees, not including the alarm units per curve. However, the innovators are currently working on the commercial aspects trying to reduce the overall product cost and studying the use of solar energy to operate.

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