This road safety hackathon forum of Toyota is intended to stimulate discussion and interest in the use of new technologies to increase the range of countermeasures available to traffic authorities and road users, thus unleashing the hidden talents of the youths to effectively contribute to this prior cause. This acts as a motivational drive to associate with the students to inculcate the importance of road safety and engaging them to be the real change agent in addressing the national drive on road safety. This initiative also promotes the right platform & encourages the future generation to gear-up in tackling such priority issues at high levels through application of their learnings and technical knowledge.
The road safety hackathon session for digital solutions to the road safety problem appear to stem from three different conceptual approaches:
Driver Behavior [Education]: Improving driver skills and building applications and/or simplistic devices that can be integrated to make driving much easier and efficient targeting both domestic as well as commercial drivers. Such improved and assistive technologies can prove to be highly beneficial in bringing down the number of accidents.
Road Conditions [Infrastructure]: Bad road conditions are one of the most difficult problems to tackle with on-ground implementation because of the cost, labor and logistics needed. The objective is to look for some feasible digital solutions which could monitor and handle such problems more efficiently.
Fraud Detection [Enforcement]: A majority of the accidents are caused by rookies and unauthorized drivers with violations such as underage drivers, drunken driving, drivers without appropriate licenses, etc. The aim is to arrive at such applications that could be employed to make the task of analyzing and detecting frauds on the roads easier.
In the initial stage of the hackathon program, a basic online test was conducted for all the participating students of class 9th 12th from Delhi/NCR Schools. The finale consisted 50 teams (two member team) shortlisted undergoing workshops on Road Safety and such teams were further trained on key basic technical skills coupled with enough resources to support them during the hackathon. Each team were allotted 36 hours to work on their innovative ideas with expertise guidance and mentoring during the process to finally arrive at a prototype or formulate a concrete idea on the road safety solution they were working on. Further, Toyota incubates the students bright ideas to develop and nurture such implementable solutions in support of road safety cause.
The top performers of the hackathon were selected by eminent jury members constituting Media, Academicians, UN Organization, Corporates, Government Representatives, Enforcement Agencies [Police] and Toyota experts, for presenting their final application. The Top Ten and the Best Three were recognized and awarded trophies and cash prizes.
Speaking on this initiative, Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President – Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, At Toyota, we strongly believe in growing with the society. While primarily we are car manufacturers, our focus also remain at enriching lives of the community around us.
Safety has been our focal point and resides in Toyotas DNA. We began our journey on the awareness program on road safety since 2007. This initiative is a one of its kind, as this is an amalgamation of technology aiding the cause of Road Safety. With the best of the young minds from the country with the support of IIT students & faculties coaching and mentoring the students, we are trying to develop implementable solutions which can help to address serious concerns we face on the Indian roads today. Children are the future of our country and it is pertinent to involve them at this stage as it helps inculcate responsible driving and safe behavior on the roads. Also, it is overwhelming to see many trained school children, through Toyotas safety initiative [road safety training outreach of Toyota Safety Education Program], participating to showcase their learnings and new ideas on road safety, as a step-up.
As a company, we are committed to the cause of Road Safety. Our ultimate aim is to achieve ZERO FATALITY. This forum provides a broad sketch of the ways in which advanced technology is being developed to address road safety concerns. Further, the real-time application of the desired solutions will be looked at, in the long-run. We hope to see some great technological solutions transcending to safer road behavior through this valuable engagement. He added.