THE VISION OF SMART MOBILITY IN INDIA
Introduction: In India, the transportation sector alone accounts for more than one third of the country’s total crude oil consumption out of which more than 80 per cent is consumed by road transportation. This, hence, accounts for the transport to be smart, safe and green.
Defining Smart Mobility for India: It is observed that majority of the Indian population depends on public transport. However, public transport is an element of smart mobility and not the only element. In India’s context the term needs to be defined to include all modes of transport that can potentially enable ease of individual transport in rural and semi-urban areas as well as in urban megacities while attending to environmental concerns. Some implementations of Intelligent Transportation System Technologies prevalent already in the country that India has witnessed in various traffic addressing mechanisms, prove the country has massive potential for technology turnover. The measures included road intersection control, incident detection, road sensors, speed enforcement, toll revenue collection, vehicle weighing, radio frequency identification (RFID), individual vehicle management, infotainment, public transport information and vehicle tracking.
Why India needs Smart Mobility: As cities grow and expand, so will urban transportation systems – increasing traffic congestion, threatening safety, wasting commuter time and valuable fuel, and impacting the environment. Also cities are where traffic flows – cars, buses, taxis and metros epitomize city life. Therefore, the Government of India is focussed on installation of high-tech solutions like in-vehicle technologies that consist of speed governors, GPS and CCTV cameras which will enhance security. Another reason for its need is that the mobility sector in India – in all facets and variations – is a sunrise industry and provides for excellent growth opportunities.
Upcoming measures: On account of the mission of building 100 smart cities, it is recognized that infrastructure and investments are twin forces that make a city smart. Realizing the importance and growing potential of technology, the Government has unveiled investment plans totalling US $150 billion in highways and shipping sectors all over India by 2019. The Indian Government further has an ambitious plan of introducing high-speed rail networks in the country. They are already being developed in many parts of the world. Moreover, twenty-five state-of-the-art hybrid buses will soon ply in Mumbai, especially in commercial hubs like the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC). CCTV cameras at every junction along with traffic signs, traffic lights and barrier systems would be of big help for smart tolling. Other additions to the already working systems are red light violation detection, alcohol detectors, interceptors, automatic number plate recognition and driver assistance systems which will contribute greatly towards road safety.
Later this year, the Traffic InfraTech Expo is set to introduce various solutions leading to smart mobility. It is a unique platform providing technology a centre stage before key decision-makers of India, ensuring development never leaves track in the country.