AIMING TO create a robust system to maintain Mumbai’s roads, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to digitise road data which will improve road safety, and minimise fatalities and accidents. The civic body has, this month, floated tenders for appointment of an agency which will deliver artificial intelligence, machine- based fully automated platform for quality data collection for road assessment and inventory management, and providing solutions for remedial action.
The project will help BMC map 5,581 kilometres of road lanes across the city, with 4,100 kilometres of road lanes under different planning authorities. Once mapped, BMC expects near-real-time updates about road conditions, categorised into three levels of severity with priority indicators for road repair work.
Road quality monitoring will include roughness index assessment with regular updates of severity of the road condition and priority indicators, telling BMC how soon a problematic road condition needs to be dealt with. It will also assess safety parameters for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and two-wheeler drivers. The system will be web-based and online, providing a road quality dashboard with near-real-time data of all major BMC roads. Data will be collected through an automated mechanism that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, equipped for spot analysis of roads that see heavy traffic.
An official of the roads department said, “BMC is dealing with blackspots, called accident-prone spots, across the city, to minimise road crashes and prevent loss of life. One of the ways to go about this is to assess the quality of roads in real time, and negate manual intervention during the assessment process. Digitisation will enable BMC to take prompt and even preventive action on issues that are reported by the system.”
In May 2022, the Mumbai traffic police identified 20 blackspots which have led to 132 fatalities and 429 grievous injuries between 2019 and 2021, according to data from BMC. Not all 20 spots are located on BMC-maintained roads –some are maintained by other agencies, such as Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) and Public Works Department (PWD).