Several years ago, Bosch developed something called a Wrong Way Driver Warning System. It was an app that used a smartphone based system to detect a car going the wrong way on the road and brings it to a halt. This system made news in 2015. In fact, a few OEMs had such features in a few cars such as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and E-Class, Toyota had also incorporated a version of a wrong way driver warning system in their cars in Japan in the year 2011. But the Bosch system definitely seems ideal for countries like India where people will not stop under such circumstances until their car is brought to a halt.
I can’t help wondering though, about how easy it has become to incorporate a wrong way driver warning system in cars today. Think about it, connected cars today such as the Hyundai Venue and MG Hector have built-in SIM cards that facilitate real-time navigation. So all car makers really need to do is to incorporate a Wrong Way Driver Warning System to work in conjunction with the built-in maps of a car and its ECU to detect if a driver is trying to go the wrong way and bring the car to a dead halt. Leaving the driver no option other than to reverse, turn around and get back to going the right way.
In a country where we lose 1.5 lakh lives on the road every year, we need every sort of safety measure to bring that number down. Of course, there is a bigger cultural issue here at play where people think it’s ‘okay’ to go a little out of the way in every aspect of their lives. Something that reflects poorly on our roads where people consider it a way of life to go the wrong way in order to cut their commute short. But what these people do not consider in any way is that they have no right to put at risk the life’s of people on the correct path. And since there is no altering this theory of endangering life on our streets, it only makes sense to implement technology based features that monitor unreliable and unsafe drivers on our streets, so that we can bring down that 1.5 lakh figure.
I’d even go so far as to say that along with other safety features such as airbags, seat belt alert, ABS and rear parking sensors that have been made mandatory, all automobiles sold in India should come as standard with a wrong way driver warning system. What’s more, the system could even be programmed to warn other connected car users!
It’s not possible for our policemen to monitor every inch of people’s movement on the streets. And since our people need monitoring, the sooner we can implement such a system, the better. And if I can appeal to your better judgement, let’s remember that no matter how much of a hurry you are in, you have no right to risk someone else’s life.
Also read - The dynamics of the Indian automobile industry