By Dr.Amit Kumar Thakur, HOD-Department of Aerospace, School of Mechanical Engineering, Lovely Professional University
Ever since digitalization took centre stage, businesses across all industries have deeply embraced technological advancements to stay ahead of the curve. And in fact, they have realised the benefits of new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others. In this scenario, the transportation sector is no exception. As accidents are happening more frequently than ever, especially in hilly terrain. And to overcome the difficulties, the industry has implemented a number of strategies. Despite the fact that drivers with poor skills are the growing cause of accidents. However, there are a few additional factors, including the number of blind turns, the height of U-turns, inadequate lighting, and a lack of supportive equipment that can be a cause for a mishap in hilly areas during winter.
Though, the state of roads has improved and modernised due to rapid urbanisation, population growth, the creation of various living spaces, and the accessibility of transportation facilities to the most remote areas. However, the serious issues of human loss due to accidents are still happening at an unprecedented rate. According to the NCBI report, the hilly district’s defective road, which accounts for 13.6% of accidents, is the second major contributing factor. Furthermore, 5.6% of all causes were related to bad weather. In this scenario, the unfortunate circumstances have drawn the attention of contemporary researchers and compelled them to adopt tech-enabled solutions that can lessen or prevent the occurrence of accidents in these terrains.
This means that in the modern era, there is always a need for such a road safety monitoring, and alerting system to prevent and preserve human loss from accidents and be capable of dealing with situations. In this context, the expert team of Lovely Professional University conducted research on wintertime road maintenance in hilly areas. As a result, they have developed “an IoT-based system for intelligent winter road maintenance in hilly areas,” in order to address the elevated number of accidents that frequently occur on hilly terrain. Nevertheless, with the aim to mitigate such tragedies, IOT-based systems have been embedded into vehicles for tracking the weather, monitoring data, and the condition of the traveling road. IOT-based systems have been incorporated into the vehicles to track the weather, collect data, and assess the state of the road. And there is no denying the fact that the Internet of Things (IoT) is Internet-based communications among various devices with sensors and actuators for convenience and financial gain.
To track and forecast the weather condition of the selected road, its location, and its condition, the installed system has a communication gateway that enables the communication between the vehicle management unit, the winter road management server, and the road forecast management unit. The system is also integrated with LoRa and Wi-Fi modems to manage hilly areas’ winter roads more manageable. As a result, the IoT-based system has proven to be a valuable invention for resolving the issue of accidents that occur on the roads during the winter in hilly areas.