FTI Consulting has released a multi-stakeholder report and road safety policy paper titled ‘Making Roads Safer in Indian Cities’, which prioritises adoption of road-safety related technology solutions in school buses and commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materials (HazMat) in India.
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organiszations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes: financial, legal, operational, political & regulatory, reputational and transactional.
The report and paper were based on input and participation from the Ministry of Road, Highways and Transport (MoRTH), Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Petroleum (CSIR-IIP), Indian Chemical Council (ICC), Intel, State Transport Corporations, the automotive industry, technical agencies and civil society, and drew on outcome data from the iRASTE pilot road safety project in Nagpur and Telangana.
Highlighting the importance of technology-enabled road safety, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways, said in his message, “Our Government is committed to reducing road accidents, fatalities and injuries. With this objective, the Ministry has undertaken multiple initiatives across all 4Es of road safety — Engineering, Enforcement, Education and Emergency care. Technology is playing an important role in road safety. Emerging technologies detect and mitigate causes of accidents in real time, including speeding, lane departure, and driver drowsiness, and such technology is a key part of Ministry’s roadmap toward a sharp reduction in road accidents. It is great to see that industry and other stakeholders are working together with the government to implement technologies and systems to make India’s vehicles and roads safer for all citizens.”
FTI Consulting was engaged by Intel to help curate a multi-stakeholder discussion and prepare this report, by bringing together diverse perspectives and recommendations from different stakeholders to improve road safety in India.
FTI Consulting organised two closed-door, multi-stakeholder consultations on February 22, 2023 and March 2, 2023 and drew inputs from around 20 stakeholders as well as iRASTE Road Safety project, driven by Nagpur Municipal Corporation, CSIR-CRRI, Mahindra & Mahindra, INAI — an applied artificial intelligence (AI) research center, IIIT-Hyderabad and Intel. The Project iRASTE has already demonstrated positive impact of advanced driver assistance systems in reducing accidents and mitigating black spots and grey spots. Leveraging the power of AI, Project iRASTE aims to achieve up to 50 percent decline in road accidents in Nagpur city and create a blueprint for India toward Vision Zero accident scenario.
Key highlights and recommendations from the Road Safety report include:
1) Developing a roadmap for road safety tech adoption, starting with school buses and commercial vehicles carrying hazardous materials (HazMat).
2) Installation and retrofits of road safety devices on legacy vehicles recommended as an affordable pathway, given the cost implications of safety technology policy mandates.
3) For the school buses category, stakeholders recommended defining basic minimum safety levels that are practical, cost-effective and can be adhered to by all, especially less privileged schools.
4) Driver upskilling and retraining was identified among both vehicle categories suggesting continuous monitoring and data-based training as the need of the hour.
5) Creation of specialized category of drivers for both HazMat and school buses. These drivers should be well trained, and the AI-based and data-based advanced-driver assisted road safety technologies would ensure continuous training on the fly.
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