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Road traffic crashes are an epidemic in India. It is not only a public health issue, where around 1,50,000 people lose their lives on Indian roads every year but also an economic one. The country loses $58 billion, or 3% of its GDP, every year due to road traffic crashes.
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Any road traffic system is highly complex and could act as a potential hazard to human health. While the majority of road crashes are often attributed to human error, poor road safety is the result of a combination of factors that also include the external driving environment and vehicle performance. Often times in the urban context, it is the vulnerable road users such as non-motorised road users (cyclists, pedestrians) as well as persons with disabilities or reduced mobility who bear the brunt.
In the era of big data and artificial intelligence, data-driven and technology-based transport governance could act as a catalyst for safer and better-managed streets. These evolving technologies have the potential to identify complex patterns and carry out tasks which humans can do but are labour-intensive and hard to scale, thereby offering decision support in road safety and traffic management governance.
To drive integrated action towards this direction, WRI India is hosting a virtual event on the topic of ‘Driving road safety and traffic management through emerging technologies’. The event will address some of these key themes on urban roads, convening engineers, traffic police, transport planners, policymakers, road safety experts and technology providers for a discussion on the need and ways to integrate relevant technology tools in road safety and traffic management governance frameworks.