In a unique collaborative initiative between the government, industry and academia towards advancing road safety, Intel, INAI, IIIT-Hyderabad, CSIR-CRRI (Central Road Research Institute), Mahindra & Mahindra, and NMC (Nagpur Municipal Corporation) today launched Project iRASTE
(intelligent Solutions for Road Safety through Technology and Engineering) in Nagpur. Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport & Industries, inaugurated the project in the presence of Shri Vikas Mahatme, Rajya Sabha MP, Shri Radhakrishnan B, NMC Commissioner and the project consortium members.

Leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence, Project iRASTE (intelligent Solutions for Road Safety through Technology and Engineering) aims to achieve up to 50% decline in road accidents in Nagpur city and create a blueprint for India towards Vision Zero.
Through an innovative and holistic road safety framework, it focusses on three crucial areas – vehicle safety, mobility analysis and road infrastructure safety.

Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India and Vice President, Intel Foundry Services said, “Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence will play a transformational role in enabling smarter and safer vehicles, roads and drivers. Intel is committed to enabling road safety and reducing fatalities in India through the use of technology solutions. I am excited to launch Project iRASTE, a unique collaborative initiative that brings together critical players to drive road safety in Nagpur and develop a blueprint for country-wide adoption towards Vision Zero.”

Redefining road safety with an innovative and holistic framework, Project iRASTE focusses on the three key aspects of vehicle safety, mobility analysis and road infrastructure safety. It aims to reimagine road safety with the predictive power of AI. Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) will offer an economical way to enhance the safety of fleets and road users. ADAS alerts, alongside driver assessments and training can notably improve driver performance. Mobility analysis will continuously monitor dynamic risks of the entire road network to define grey and black spots – areas that are high risk or accident-prone. Preventive maintenance of such stretches will avert black spots before they claim lives.

About the project, Dr Shekhar C. Mande, DG, CSIR said, “This is a wonderful example of multiinstitutional collaboration between different partners from academics, industry and government with complementary skills to address the problems faced by society on a daily basis. I am glad to note that CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) a pioneer in introducing the road safety audit programs on national and state highways and having completed the road safety audit of almost 9000 km will be providing necessary technical guidance in this project. They will help in identifying the accident-prone locations and also evaluate the drivers’ behaviour before and after installation of CAS (Collision Avoidance System) in their vehicles. This project being in Nagpur will certainly be a milestone in tackling the issue of road safety in India through intervention of advanced technologies and can be emulated in different cities as well.”

Under this project, Nagpur Municipal Corporation’sfleet of vehicles will be equipped with collision avoidance technology, that can reduce accidents and near misses by up to 60%. Sensors in these technologies will also help map the dynamic risk of the entire road network (grey spot map) for the first time. Road maintenance agencies can use such information to prevent accident-prone zones (black spots) before they claim lives. Project iRASTE will conduct detailed studies to recommend engineering fixes for existing black spots and implement an AI-powered system for continuous monitoring of road infrastructure quality.

Prof P J Narayanan, Director, IIITH said, “Academic institutions have enormous knowledge and expertise that can and must be used to improve the condition of society. IIIT Hyderabad has been focussing on Applied Research that does precisely that. Through INAI, we want to transform
academic expertise into population-scale impact. Roads and vehicles are the lifeline of the country but are also fraught with danger to drivers and pedestrians. We look forward to playing a role in reducing accidents significantly through the iRASTE project in the coming years.”

Project iRASTE uniquely leverages the expertise and capabilities of each of the partners. Intel India brings onboard systems based on ADAS technology. CSIR-CRRI brings domain expertise in roadengineering and IIIT-Hyderabad is undertaking AI-based research to address population-scale road safety through the INAI center for applied AI research ( Mahindra & Mahindra with their vast experience of driving major road initiatives will conduct road safety public awareness programs and driver trainings in Nagpur.