In a recent gathering of experts at the 2nd Edition of Smart and Sustainable Roads conference organized by the Indian Infrastructure Group, Mr. Akhilesh Srivastava, the Road Safety Ambassador at IRF, passionately addressed the pressing issues surrounding India's road network. With a mission to discuss key trends and technological advancements for the construction of safer, better, and sustainable roads, the conference shed light on the dual challenge faced by the country—rapidly expanding road infrastructure and a simultaneous surge in road accidents.
India's road network has been expanding at an unprecedented rate, marked by the fastest pace of highway construction. However, this achievement is overshadowed by a stark reality—the highest number of fatalities occurring on these very roads. Mr. Srivastava emphasized that road safety is not just a statistical concern; it is a matter that profoundly impacts families, with the repercussions of a single death echoing through many lives.
Despite substantial investments, conventional road safety measures have failed to yield results, leading to a disheartening increase in accidents year after year. According to Mr. Srivastava, the key lies in recognizing that over 80% of accidents are attributed to human errors. The solution, he argues, is not more of the same medicine but a paradigm shift towards leveraging technology to minimize these errors.
In a poignant moment during the conference, Mr. Srivastava asserted that the era of "Forgiving Roads" is a thing of the past. Instead, he proposed embracing cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Autonomous technology, Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X), and Telematics to revolutionize road safety.
The application of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, Smart signs, and Smart camera crash prevention, among other technological advancements, were highlighted as game-changers in the quest to significantly reduce accidents. Mr. Srivastava's message resonated with the audience, culminating in a standing ovation that acknowledged the urgency and importance of this shift in approach.
The vision set forth is ambitious yet vital: to introduce the safest and highest quality road system across the entire country. By addressing the root cause of accidents—human errors—and harnessing the power of technology, the goal is to create an environment where accidents become the exception rather than the norm.
The conference served as a platform where esteemed speakers shared insights and expertise, contributing significantly to the collective vision of safer and better roads for India. The commitment to leveraging advancements in AI, IoT, and autonomous technology reflects a determination to transform the trajectory of road safety in the nation.
As Mr. Srivastava concluded, the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders, combined with technological innovation, will pave the way for a future where India's roads are not only expansive but, more importantly, safe and sustainable. The journey towards this vision has begun, and with continued dedication, India can look forward to a road network that truly prioritizes the well-being of its citizens.