IIT Madras to work on data-driven solutions for road safety

Our Correspondent
Our Correspondent
Posted on 03 Apr 2022
15:05 PM
Debashis Neogi of Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India (right) and Mahesh Panchagnula of IIT Madras (second from left) with the MoU.

Debashis Neogi of Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India (right) and Mahesh Panchagnula of IIT Madras (second from left) with the MoU. IIT Madras

Two projects in collaboration with Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India Pvt Ltd to reduce fatalities
A project improving public safety in Chennai, with focus on accidents involving public transit buses
A year-long hackathon, Hackcidents, on Road Safety and Accident Prevention

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras is collaborating with Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India Pvt Ltd. (RNTBCI) to reduce road accident fatalities in Chennai and neighbouring districts through two projects. The initiative is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

Over 10% of the fatal accidents in Chennai in 2019 were caused by buses —twice the number reported across the country.

The first project aims to improve public safety with focus on reducing fatal accidents involving public transit buses in Chennai. The Connected Intelligent Urban Transportation lab at IIT Madras will develop innovative, technology and data-driven solutions to improve road safety. It will involve the use of state-of-the-art sensors and data collection techniques for a better understanding of the root causes leading to bus accidents and other innovative ways to significantly reduce them.


The MoU for the same was signed on April 2, 2022, by Mahesh Panchagnula, the dean of alumni and corporate relations at IIT Madras; and Debashis Neogi, the managing director of RNTBCI; in the presence of Natarajasundaram Balasubramanian, the vice-president of RNTBCI.

“We are glad to work with IIT Madras, which conducts research in science and technology aimed at promoting Sustainable Development Goals, to study road safety and create innovative approaches to enable safer roads,” Neogi said.

“This project on Intelligent Urban Transportation is an urgent need given the growth that India is experiencing. We are happy to partner with Renault-Nissan on this crucial project,” Panchagnula said.

Speaking about the project implementation, Gitakrishnan Ramadurai, principal investigator for the projects and associate professor (Transportation Engineering Division), department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “We are grateful to RNTBCI as well as Chennai Traffic Police, Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and the TN government for giving us this opportunity to contribute towards improving safety in our region.”

“The projects will combine advanced sensor technology with cutting-edge data analytics to design cost-effective solutions to address road safety. I am confident that the innovative capabilities of our students and start-ups will translate to new ideas that will not only benefit our city but save thousands of lives worldwide,” Ramadurai said.

IIT Madras director V. Kamakoti also spoke about the initiative and its benefits. “This project will lead to generating data that will help to enhance road safety. The findings from this project will pave way for new technologies that will further enhance entrepreneurship ideas,” he said.

Kapil Saratkar, additional commissioner of police, Chennai City Traffic Police, said, “Around 4,500 traffic police are deployed by Tamil Nadu Police to manage the traffic in the city. However, there is a manpower shortage, and these policemen have to face several difficulties in managing the traffic in the city. The police department requests the students of IIT Madras to provide simple and innovative solutions to address the problems faced by the department in managing the traffic in the city.”

The second project is a year-long hackathon named Hackcidents. The best ideas on Road Safety and Accident Prevention born out of the hackathon will be implemented. Centre For Innovation, a voluntary student body at IIT Madras, will conduct the hackathon.

The initiative will focus on using low-cost innovative technology to prevent accidents in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur and Chengalpattu.

Being a large metropolitan region, the challenges faced by Chennai are unique and complex. Pedestrians, bicyclists and two-wheeler riders are among the highest number of victims. This project proposes to address the challenge of reducing accidents in the Chennai Mega Region by leveraging the innovative capabilities of students and the start-up community.

Last updated on 03 Apr 2022
15:05 PM
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