It is a truism to say that technology is impacting our lives. But few of us realise how much of technology is also getting almost unconsciously assimilated in our lives because of the conscious actions of a few persons.
GPS for Police Bikes -Using available technology
Recently, the Mumbai Police were handed over 2 8 customized Royal Enfield 350 cc ‘Bullet’ bikes for patrolling. These were the first 28 bikes of the 236 bikes, while the rest are expected to hit the roads in lots throughout the year. These are fitted with GPS and will enable them to respond to distressed callers without the usual hunt for the correct address or location.
GPS or the Global Positioning System is not new. Yet it takes a finite length of time for a new technology to evolve, result in a product and then be actually put into use in all potential functions. The more awareness we have of the development of new technologies, even in unrelated fields the greater the chance of these technologies finding application in areas literally crying out for such capabilities.
Uber and the Traffic Police
Take the example of Uber and the Traffic Police. The Traffic police have been making do with data gathered from Closed Circuit TV Cameras so that they have a count of the number of cars and heavyvehicles etc. This certainly gives them an edge in controlling traffic because it is a definiteimprovement over the earlier manual count but it is still tedious business, with not enough dynamic, actionable information.
Now they have got the Uber Movement Tool on a platter. This provides them with data on real time vehicular congestion and traffic speed. The Traffic Police now know that average vehicle speed in certain areas has dipped to an abysmal 11 kms/hour. This is against 30/kms per hour which is considered optimal. What the real time data will now do, is to help the traffic police to spread human resources optimally, regulate signal timing appropriately and improve infrastructure in terms of subways, flyovers etc using verifiable factual information rather than hazy hunches.
The information coming to hand through technology application, in the normal course of business operations for a taxi aggregator has now suddenly become a fantastic socially useful technology. It can now be the basis for urban planning, for deciding where to locate flyover etc and more important assess the impact of infrastructural and other interventions.
Video Analytics and the Railways
Mumbai locals carry upwards of 7.5 million passenger every day with each train packed to about 2.6 times its maximum capacity. Managing such crowds is a thankless and stupendous job. Enter video analytics. It can help analyse crowd density at a spot, recognize faces, spot unattended baggage, study intruders, time spent by people and unruly mobs. It can send alerts to the Control Room so officers can be deputed to manage the issue in time. This can help prevent gridlocks, bottlenecks & overcrowding which results in tragic stampedes.
There are technologies just waiting for application to millions of situations, where it can totally alter the way we deal with things. From slashing costs, to resolving chronic problems, to day-today management. It will help all of us, if we apply our minds to thinking out new potential uses instead of dumbly using it.
Author: Raghunandan Jagdish – MD of Nandan GSE Pvt. Ltd.
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