Tanzanian transport regulator SUMATRA is looking to use a smart tracking system to reduce traffic accidents by monitoring vehicle speeds of public service vehicles, writes RUSSELL SOUTHWOOD.
Muchangwe Ferrao looks at how a vehicle monitoring system from a Tanzanian start-up called CUMii can tackle this task.
Tanzania loses thousands of lives each year through road traffic accidents. In 2015, the Bureau of Statistics recorded about 10,000 injuries, and 3500 deaths as a result of carnage on the roads. The government now seeks to implement intelligent systems such as ConnectCar to make the country’s roads safer.
With an estimated population of 4.4 million, Dar es Salaam operates a mixed transport system that includes boda-bodas (motor-bikes), bajaj (three-wheel motorized cart), and dala dalas (commuter bus), all servicing main metropolitan areas. Being a port town, Dar es Salaam also serves as transit/gateway for large amounts of local and international traffic, which makes its road network not only busy, but also highly treacherous.
The volume of traffic presents a challenge for the governing body – Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) – in managing safety effectively. In the past, SUMATRA has used traditional electrical speed monitors but these have been ineffective as drivers easily tamper with them, thus making data recovered unreliable.
In a tender recently issued by the regulator, the primary mandate set by the government is to reduce the number of traffic accidents by implementing a smart tracking system. The system will not only monitor and track all passenger carrying motor vehicles, but essentially give control to the authority, as well as fleet owners to enhance safety, reduce idling time, manage fuel costs, as well as insurance premiums by having real time business changing data at their finger tips.
In Tanzania, Vodacom has partnered with CUMii, a leading African company in disruptive technology, to introduce ConnectedCar.
ConnectedCar is a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) tracking service that monitors driver behavior using a remote management platform. Once installed, ConnectedCar can converge with different devices including smart phones, cameras, gas readers, and many more via the Internet. It is easily configured to meet user requirements and using a mobile app or web interface displays information such as:
– Driving habits – e.g. hard braking
– Trip reports & customised reports
– Geo fencing
– Real time tracking
– Battery Tampering Alerts
– Multiple Driver tags & Panic button
– Fuel Management
– Violations notifications via SMS, email
– Route Planning and Management
This information offers both control over safety and security, savings on insurance premiums and much more. Effectively it is an all round cost management product.
According to Chief Officer – Business Enterprise, Gregory Verbond: “Connected devices can be used to improve public safety, conserve resources, boost productivity and support the government effectively. Tanzania stands to benefit by implementing M2M solutions that bring hardware, software and data analytics together in a single solution which is what this partnership brings to the table.”
The unique features of this technology can aid in other areas where governments and enterprise seek to curb fraud through abuse of assets. In a recent media statement, Commissioner of Policy and Procurement, Frederic Mwakibinga emphasised the need for more stringent monitoring tools to eliminate the mis-use of government vehicles in Tanzania. ConnectedCar can help to achieve this too.
Research has shown that markets that have implemented this technology effectively have resulted in profits of up-to 12% experienced through cost saving and management. This is a substantial amount to a country like Tanzania where road accidents cost the government approximately Tshs. 20 billion annually.
In cities such as Dar es Salaam where road accidents due to negligence and reckless driving are part of daily life, ConnectedCar, can make a real difference. In its simplest form, this service is friendly enough to be used by anyone concerned about the safety of the of loved ones, bajaj owners and families alike.
Local engineers known as Technites, who are trained and accredited by CUMii, do the installations. This model aims to ensure quality and excellence, as well as enhance local skills whilst creating new jobs in the local market.
* Russell Southwood is editor of Smart Monkey TV. To subscribe to its web TV channel, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/SmartMonkeyTV/videos
Two-thirds of adults ready for cars that drive themselves
The latest Looking Further with Ford Trends Report reveals that behaviour is changing across key areas of our lives
Self-driving cars are a hot topic today, but if you had to choose, would you rather your children ride in an autonomous vehicle or drive with a stranger? You may be surprised to learn that 67 per cent of adults globally would opt for the self-driving car.
That insight is one of many revealed in the 2019 Looking Further with Ford Trend Report, released last week. The report takes a deep look into the drivers of behavioural change, specifically uncovering the dynamic relationships consumers have with the shifting landscape of technology.
Change is not always easy, particularly when it is driven by forces beyond our control. In a global survey of 14 countries, Ford’s research revealed that 87 per cent of adults believe technology is the biggest driver of change. And while 79 per cent of adults maintain that technology is a force for good, there are large segments of the population that have significant concerns. Some are afraid of artificial intelligence (AI). Others fear the impact of technology on our emotional wellbeing.
“Individually and collectively, these behavioural changes can take us from feeling helpless to feeling empowered, and unleash a world of wonder, hope and progress,” says Kuda Takura, smart mobility specialist at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “At Ford we are deeply focused on human-centric design and are committed to finding mobility solutions that help improve the lives of consumers and their communities. In the context of change, we have to protect what we consider most valuable – having a trusted relationship with our customers. So, we are always deliberate and thoughtful about how we navigate change.”
Key insights from Ford’s 7th annual Trends Report:
Almost half of people around the world believe that fear drives change
Seven in 10 say that they are energised by change
87 per cent agree that technology is the biggest driver of today’s change
Eight in 10 citizens believe that technology is a force for good
45 per cent of adults globally report that they envy people who can disconnect from their devices
Seven out of 10 consumers agree that we should have a mandatory time-out from our devices
Click here to read more about the seven trends for 2019.
At last, cars talk to traffic lights to catch ‘green wave’
By ANDRE HAINZLMAIER, head of development of apps, connected services and smart city at Audi.
Stop-and-go traffic in cities is annoying. By contrast, we are pleased when we have a “green wave” – but we catch them far too seldom, unfortunately. With the Traffic Light Information function, drivers are more in control. They drive more efficiently and are more relaxed because they know 250 meters ahead of a traffic light whether they will catch it on green. In the future, anonymized data from our cars can help to switch traffic lights in cities to better phases and to optimise the traffic flow.
In the USA, Audi customers have been using the “Time-to-Green” function for two years: if the driver will reach the lights on red, a countdown in the Audi virtual cockpit or head-up display counts the seconds to the next green phase. This service is now available at more than 5,000 intersections in the USA, for example in cities like Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland and Washington D.C. In the US capital alone, about 1,000 intersections are linked to the Traffic Light Information function.
Since February, Audi has offered a further function in North America. The purpose of this is especially to enable driving on the “green wave”. “Green Light Optimized Speed Advisory” (GLOSA) shows to the driver in the ideal speed for reaching the next traffic light on green.
Both Time-to-Green and GLOSA will be activated for the start of operation in Ingolstadt in selected Audi models. These include all Audi e-tron models and the A4, A6, A7, A8, Q3, Q7 and Q8 to be produced from mid-July (“model year 2020”). The prerequisite is the “Audi connect Navigation & Infotainment” package and the optional “camera-based traffic sign recognition”.
Why is this function becoming available in Europe two years later than in the USA?
The challenges for the serial introduction of the service are much greater here than, for example, in the USA, where urban traffic light systems were planned over a large area and uniformly. In Europe, by contrast, the traffic infrastructure has developed more locally and decentrally – with a great variety of traffic technology. How quickly other cities are connected to this technology depends above all on whether data standards and interfaces get established and cities digitalise their traffic lights.
On this project, Audi is working with Traffic Technology Services (TTS). TTS prepares the raw data from city traffic management centres and transmits them to the Audi servers. From here, the information reaches the car via a fast Internet connection.
Audi is working to offer Traffic Light Information in further cities in Germany, Europe, Canada and the USA in the coming years. In the large east Chinese city of Wuxi, Audi and partners are testing networks between cars and traffic light systems in the context of a development project.
In future, Audi customers may be able to benefit from additional functions, for example when “green waves” are incorporated into the ideal route planning. It is also conceivable that Audi e-tron models, when cruising up to a red traffic light, will make increased used of braking energy in order to charge their batteries. Coupled with predictive adaptive cruise control (pACC), the cars could even brake automatically at red lights.
In the long term, urban traffic will benefit. When cars send anonymised data to the city, for example, traffic signals could operate more flexibly. Every driver knows the following situation: in the evening you wait at a red light – while no other car is to be seen far and wide. Networked traffic lights would then react according to demand. Drivers of other automotive brands will also profit from the development work that Audi is carrying out with Traffic Light Information – good news for cities, which are dependent on the anonymised data of large fleets to achieve the most efficient traffic management.
In future, V2I technologies like Traffic Light Information will facilitate automated driving.
A city is one of the most complex environments for an autonomous car. Nevertheless, the vehicle has to be able to handle the situation, even in rain and snow. Data exchange with the traffic infrastructure can be highly relevant here.