Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Enabling safe transportation with AI - powered solutions

A case study by Netradyne and Writer safeguard

Published: Apr 7, 2023 01:52:00 PM IST
Updated: Apr 7, 2023 09:10:40 PM IST

Enabling safe transportation with AI - powered solutionsRoad accidents are a major public concern in developing countries and India is no exception. Reports find that the country accounts for nearly 11% of road accidents globally, with more than 1.53 lakh deaths recorded in 2021. The government aims to work towards reducing road accidents by 50% over the next two years, ably supported by applying technological solutions.

With a similar vision in mind, two futuristic executives from Qualcomm, Avneesh Agrawal and David Julian, incorporated Netradyne in 2015. The startup harnesses the power of Computer-Vision and Edge-Computing to revolutionize the modern-day transport ecosystem. The result is their flagship product, Driver•iTM, which captures every second of driving, both inside the cabin as well as outside, on the road. This is similar to the autonomous vehicle technology, however, in this scenario, the control remains with the driver.

Driver•iTM detects road signs, traffic lights, weather conditions, and other vehicles on the road, while also analysing driver behaviour, drowsiness, fatigue, and several other parameters which lead to accidents. In addition, fleet managers are provided a cloud dashboard to monitor individual driving behavior and related trends, as well as the overall fleet performance across various safety and compliance protocols. The company also introduced the industry’s first driver scoring system, the GreenZone. This assigns scores based on driving indicators and helps fleet owners identify good drivers and those who require coaching.

“Technology is playing a vital role in the Government of India’s efforts to reduce road accidents, thus, aligning with the nation’s vision for safer roads.Durgadutt Nedungadi, SVP – India & International Business, Netradyne

Writer Safeguard, one of India’s foremost cash management companies, was looking to enhance its driver and van safety standards to ensure that it serves world class services to its customers. It operates more than 1,600 cash vans that service over 23,000 ATMs and more than 20,000 retail points across the country. The company’s cash vans are constantly on the road and are prone to accidents that can be attributed to unsafe driving practices including impaired reaction time stemming from fatigue, over-speeding, and tailgating.

In addition to road accidents, Manosh Bhattacharya, Country Head, and Prashant Joshi, Chief Operating Officer with Writer Safeguard, were keen to use the technology to address other operational challenges. They intended to be assured that the cash is safe and accounted for, while being compliant with MHA and RBI norms for cash carrying vehicles.

In 2022, as part of phase-1 of their engagement with Netradyne, Writer installed Driver•iTM in about 50% of their vehicles. The device captured and analysed several hundred data-points using sensors and vision-based technology. Within six months of deployment, Writer reported a tangible impact on KPIs set for this partnership including a 50% reduction in accidents. The company has been able to imbibe a culture of safe driving amongst their drivers. A colossal drop of 74% in drowsy driver instances was experienced, along with a 38% reduction in distracted driving. GreenZone scores have significantly improved with the help of automated, virtual and in-person coaching enabled by Driver•iTM.

Netradyne’s smart cameras also provide an extra layer of security to Writer’s safety protocols. As a result, the company was able to track its cash van during an attempted theft.

“We are glad to contribute towards making Indian roads safer by leveraging next-gen technologies in our fleets” Manosh Bhattacharya, Country Head, Writer Safeguard

As traffic density increases, with it grows the number of road accidents. The adoption of technologically robust safety systems, like Netradyne’s Driver•iTM, have become essential to bring about a decrease the road accidents.

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