Mr Vanesh Naidoo is the Founder & Director at Safe Cams Digital Eye – a leading Indian dash camera and in-car safety solutions start-up. Born and raised in South Africa, Vanesh passed with distinction his Bachelors Degree in Accounting from University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Level-3 passed.
After completing his higher education, Vanesh had worked for 16+ years with various reputed companies in South Africa, UK and other countries, before finally moving to Pune in India along with his family in 2018. In the same year (2018), Vanesh co-founded Safe Cams with his wife Chetna Naidoo. As the Founder of Safe Cams, Vanesh is currently spearheading the India operations of the company while leading a team of 10+ full-time employees.
As the lockdowns across India begin to ease, people are starting to get back in their cars to travel. One consideration for those beginning to drive is that the death toll on our roads is very high. Luckily, in the recent times, there have been some great technological advances in the auto industry, which will make vehicles safer and monitor drivers to ensure that human errors are minimised while on the road.
Here are 5 new-age tech-enabled car safety solutions available in the market today:
Driver State Monitor (DSM)
A Driver State Monitor or DSM-enabled camera faces the driver and uses advanced AI algorithm to monitor a driver’s face and gestures. It can identify within seconds if a driver is falling asleep, yawning, smoking, using a mobile phone or being distracted from looking at the road ahead. It then alerts the driver, to ensure that he begins to pay attention, or stops the vehicle to take a rest. As nearly 40% of accidents in India are caused due to drowsy driving, this innovation can prevent a lot of road deaths.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
The most common form for an Advanced Driver Assistance System or ADAS is a forward-facing video camera that uses advanced AI on the video footage to locate objects around the front of the vehicle and calculate if there is a probability of crashing into them at the current speed. ADAS systems can now identify stationary objects on the road, slow moving vehicles and pedestrians and help preventing a collision with any of them. If it determines that there is going to be a collision, it alerts the driver beforehand to slow down, thereby avoiding an accident. An ADAS system can also connected to the car’s braking system; this allows for a faster braking time when compared to a human driver’s reaction time. These split seconds can effectively prevent an accident or at least reduce the severity an accident, as the vehicle will now be slower at the point of impact.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
Adaptive Cruise Control or ACC is a system designed to help a vehicle maintain a safe following distance and stay within the specified speed limit. This system will automatically adjust a vehicle’s speed without a driver intervening, making highway driving a pleasurable experience. ACC systems also conserve fuel as it removes the need for harsh braking and accelerating as it continuously monitors the road ahead.
Driving at night increases your chances of an accident as your visibility is reduced greatly. In general, roads in India are not very well-lit, so you have to rely on your own vehicle’s headlights for illumination. Adaptive headlights are an advanced safety feature that uses sensors to automatically adapt to low-light situations. These include lowering your headlights when it senses oncoming cars and raising them when they pass, giving the driver the maximum view of the road ahead. Another feature of these headlights is when you are making a turn, they illuminate the road into which you are turning making it easier for you to see.
SOS Calling to Emergency Services (In Case of A Road Accident)
In the event of an accident, the first few minutes or hour after the mishap are the most crucial. The sooner the accident victim receives medical attention, the sooner they will be able to recover. The SOS system can detect when the vehicle has met with an accident and will immediately contact the emergency services via the mobile network giving them your GPS position and time of the accident. This information will be used to dispatch an ambulance to you. They will also have your contact number so they can call you to assess the situation, and take necessary action as required.
Apart from the (above-mentioned) 5 safety solutions, another interesting car safety feature worth mentioning here is a tyre pressure monitoring system. This system enables you to identify any slow leaks you may have on your tires. With the monsoons and constant road works, knowing the state of your tires can be a lifesaver as you don’t want a blowout when you are travelling on the highway.
In 2019 the total number of road deaths was estimated at 1.51 lakhs (higher than the COVID deaths seen in 2020 which amount to 1.49 lakhs). And with only 1 per cent of the world’s vehicles, India accounts for 11% of global road crash victims, as has been revealed by a World Bank report in 2020.
For more than a year-and-a-half now, the Covid-19 virus has taught us how precious life is. Therefore we need to take that understanding and apply it to all areas in our lives, including car travel, of course. The cost of adopting these new tech advancements is much less when compared to the number of lives that can be saved. Needless to say that the faster we adopt these new advancements, the safer our roads can be.