Three Research Students and one Assistant Professor from Hydrabad have developed a computing system that records the driving behaviour of drivers while they are driving. The drivers can, after the session, check at which points their driving endangered their lives and that of the others. They can thus work on those areas.
Global and Indian statistics reveal that about 80% of the traffic accidents happen due to mistakes by the driver. Thus, it is evident that this is a serious global problem and shaping a solution for this problem is the need of the hour, especially for a country like India where the number of vehicles on the road increases geometrically without corresponding increase in new road networks. The UN General Assembly has proclaimed last year 2011?2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety with a goal to stabilise and then reduce the road traffic fatalities around the world.
The Integrated Computing System for measuring Driver Safety Index system is a step towards this goal. It reduces the rate of accidents, injuries and deaths associated with road transport caused by driver?s faults. In devising this system we have tried to use contemporary technology to directly motivate the drivers to develop an attitude that causes less or no accidents. The system is designed to help drivers drive safely by monitoring hard acceleration, hard deceleration and swerves. People who are aware of being observed tend to modify their behaviour. If there were a means of providing feedback to the drivers about their behaviour on the road, this phenomenon could potentially be used to encourage them to behave more safely when driving. The project offers such means of providing feedback by confronting drivers with their recorded driving actions. The software used in the system is geared towards companies that employ drivers and seek to ensure safety. The logged data helps the management to take appropriate action on their drivers. If this is successful with companies, it can be further implemented in school buses and public transport too.
The application was tested at PVR Express Highway, Hyderabad. The device used for testing was an android-based tablet, Motorola Xoom. The application was developed on the android platform since android is founded on open source philosophy which makes user customisation possible to a great extent. Also, android is the preferred choice of the present generation. Therefore, developing the application on android is more feasible than on other proprietary platforms.
Global and Indian statistics reveal that about 80% of the traffic accidents happen due to mistakes by the driver. Thus, it is evident that this is a serious global problem and shaping a solution for this problem is the need of the hour, especially for a country like India where the number of vehicles on the road increases geometrically without corresponding increase in new road networks.
The driver starts the application at the beginning of the trip. Whenever the driver drives aggressively, the computing system considers it an event. An event is of three types ? aggressive turning, swerves or sudden braking done by the driver. The application continuously checks for the occurrence of an event. A Global Position System (GPS) is used for tracking the driver and geographical location of the events. Whenever an event occurs, the application logs the event data. The 3-axis accelerometer built into the android platform is used to calculate the acceleration values of the vehicle in all the three directions. Based on these acceleration values, the threshold values for safe or acceptable driving are established beforehand in all the directions as shown in Table 1. Then the three types of driving events are detected based on the deviation of the values from the threshold values. Once an event is detected, corresponding videos, ten seconds prior to and after the event are logged. After reaching the destination, the driver stops the application. The administrator then checks the events and deletes any unnecessary events. These are events where inadvertent swerving and turns were carried out by the driver, not intentionally, but which were unavoidable and done to secure the safety of the vehicle. Once the events are finalised, the application gives the performance rating or the Driver Safety Index for the driver.
This research focused on the design of an integrated application for rating the driver by considering the road conditions, acceleration and speed. This application would be highly useful to reduce accidents due to negligent driving. This system helps to maintain a detailed track record of a driver?s driving, and offers a more objective way of rating the driver which would help managers to take necessary corrective or other appropriate action. At some point in the future, some additional functionalities can be added to the system such as live transmission of data from the vehicle to a central station and also the use of image processing techniques for processing the video, thus automating the entire system, and eliminating the need for manual analysis of the videos.
(The authors, whose interest includes Mobile Application Development, are indebted to Dr. D. Nageswara Rao, General Secretary, VNRVJIET, for his help and guidance. They are also grateful to B V Kiranmayee, Head of Computer Science and Engineering Department, VNRVJIET for providing them with the necessary resources and encouragement).