THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: They say necessity is the mother of inventions. For Prasad Pillai, it came in the form of a couple of road accidents that brought out the innovator in himself.This constant exposure to mishaps encouraged him to develop the ‘Raksha Safe Drive’, a smart road safety device launched by his company, Elsys Intelligent Devices on Thursday.He has made use of the lessons he learnt from the car accidents he faced in Kerala and USA.The first crash exposed him to the lack of quality roadside assistance for accident victims in Kerala in the late 1990’s.
The second crash happened six years later in the United States and the support he received after the accident made him think deeply about introducing similar facilities in his home state.
It was his engineering background that aided Prasad to develop an electronic device which turns cars ‘safe, smart and connected’.
The SafeDrive will help the driver to communicate with the outside world, be it his or her contact or a dedicated customer care maintained by the company for any roadside assistance. The company has sought the support of hospitals, ambulance, police and mechanics to help passengers in case of an emergency.
Upon detecting a serious impact, the device sends out a communication to the nearby help centres with accurate location of the accident spot.
The ‘In-Vehicle Emergency Call’ automatically notifies the emergency centre for help in the event of a severe collision - even when the victims are unable to respond due to injury or shock. The device is equipped with crash sensors, a GPS module, a microphone, speaker and cellular connectivity. “SafeDrive is a made-in-India solution for a global concern. We have so far aggregated a network of over 3,500 road-emergency service providers across India.
We are approaching automobile manufacturers, insurance providers, road transport entities and law enforcement agencies to extend this network to as many people as possible,” says Prasad. The State police chief Loknath Behera launched the device at a function held in the capital. He lauded the innovation and hoped it would save the lives of people in the state, where road accidents are the cause for the maximum number of unnatural deaths.
“Over 2000 lives have been lost in the first half of this year itself. Along with innovations, the society must realise the importance of safe driving. SafeDrive is one such innovation in the step towards safe driving,” he said.
The Managing Director of the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) M Beena said, “The safety of women drivers is also a concern because of the high density vehicle population. The KSIDC has been extending support to startups like Elsys.”
The start-up is based on the Technopark campus and has been successfully incubated by the Kerala Startup Mission, and supported by KSIDC. Car owners can purchase the device from automobile showrooms or from auto parts showrooms.