What sets it apart
The key differentiation of SafeDrive is automatic crash detection and notification mechanism.
The other products currently available in the market are limited to providing location-tracking features. SafeDrive adds a new spin to this by adding an in-built crash sensing and notification mechanism. The team claims that crash sensing is the key technology that differentiates this product from the others.
In conventional systems, false triggers for small impacts, including sudden braking and impacts from traversing large gutters on the road, affect the integrity of the solution in the long run.
If a system such as this is allowed to cause a false accident trigger, the ensuing situation can wreak havoc for the driver and entire support system. It will cause the solution to degrade and, consequently, affect its ability to be put to use in an effective manner. “We accomplish a stable, error-free and dependable accident detection system implemented through proprietary algorithms that contextually analyse and combine all the information obtained. This includes position, velocity, impact direction and duration, make and model of the vehicle, and so on,” explains Pillai.
In most developed and developing nations, including China, modern technologies are employed for fast detection and co-ordination of emergency rescue efforts.
In the USA, General Motors developed and commissioned OnStar system in their cars, that provides automatic accident detection and emergency SOS button, over 15 years ago. Currently, this system provides many services, including instant on-call support from a central office and dispatching emergency assistance to the accident location, among others. Over the past several years, most other car manufacturers have followed their lead and have provided similar safety systems for their cars sold in developed countries like the USA, the UK and others.
However, in India, we are yet to see such technologies being used and made available for public consumption. Lack of such modern technologies for emergency response is a major problem to be dealt with in order to reduce high causalities in India from road accidents.
SafeDrive was available for pre-order in November at a price of Rs. 6999 from the company’s website Raksha.me. Competing international products like Splitsecnd cost around Rs. 12,000 to buy, plus a monthly expense of Rs. 900 to subscribe to the emergency service, apart from routing service from a centre placed out of India.
Prasad adds, “We have taken two years, with the effort of a seven-member team, to bring this product into fruition.”
What we can expect in the future
Prasad and his team are working on patenting some features, which they cannot disclose at this time due to patent filing requirements. From my interaction with the team, I am sure that we can expect some interesting improvements in the feature set that comes with the next generation of this product.
The author is a senior assistant editor at EFY