While Coronavirus continues to terrify countries and stock markets around the world, it’s always reassuring to think that there are so many other dangers in our modern lives. Not least among these are road accidents, and like in the case of a globally spreading pandemic, prevention is better than cure.
Enter Nisarg Pandya (29), Founder and CEO of drivebuddyAI, and Kumar Ranjan (28), Vice President. drive buddy AI is an AI-based auto-tech startup for drivers and road safety catering to B2B segment of vehicles like trucks, buses, and lorries, with plans to eventually expand to cab companies. Excerpts from an interview:
What gave you the idea for this particular AI?
Pandya: drivebuddyAI was born out of a simple motivation. I lost my uncle in a car accident a couple of years back. That incident changed something in me and it made me quit my job and step out of my comfort zone. What does a person need who is getting into an accident? A split second! That was the answer to preventing accidents. drivebuddyAI is working towards making use of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision technologies to solve the problem of driver distraction, which is the reason for 84 per cent of total accidents happening in the world.
How does the system work?
We use edge computing and deep learning techniques to teach our AI algorithm more about the different types of road conditions, traffic scenario and driving patterns of the drivers. Computer Vision technologies are becoming readily useful in the Automotive Industry. Even Tesla’s Autopilot is running on heavy computer vision-based computing.
With on-board forward collision assistance and drive distraction/driver drowsiness warning, drivers could be safer. Our cloud platform consists of intelligent video analytics, driver evaluation and driver coaching modules that help the driver improve their driving skills and reduce accidents. We aim to reduce 30 per cent of road accidents in the next five years in India.
Where all is driveBuddyAI being used at the moment? Are you planning on reaching out to companies like Ola and Uber?
Ranjan: We are presently working with UPSTRC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) under the aegis of State Government of Uttar Pradesh to ensure safer journeys on the Yamuna Express Way. We are soon going to start one of the largest pilot projects with a leading motor insurance company in India. Also, we have done pilot with Adobe in past. We are in talks with different state governments for installing over devices. We are confident that with the support from the Government of India and various state governments, we will be able to reduce road casualties in big numbers. We are also aiming to pitch to companies like Uber and Ola, but not immediately.
What are the types of companies using your devices?
Ranjan: Our devices mostly go in commercial vehicles. Various fleet companies are utilising our devices to track their drivers and incentivise their driving.