‘Increased awareness and innovation are keys to ensuring road safety’: Loknath Behera

Kerala Police chief launched ‘SafeDrive’ device that turns vehicles into ‘safe, smart and connected’ cars. Easy to use gadget has been developed by a former KSUM startup.  

Lamenting the loss of around 2,000 lives in accidents on Kerala’s roads in the first half of the year, state police chief Shri Loknath Behera called here today for raised awareness and an increased emphasis on innovation in vehicular safety.

“While the Kerala Police will do its best to enforce traffic safety rules, society must realise that we share a collective responsibility to prevent accidents. Enforcement will only work if coupled with awareness. A driving license is not a license to kill,” Behera said.

He was speaking at the public launch of ‘SafeDrive’ – an innovative smart car gadget that turns vehicles into ‘safe, smart and connected’ cars. Designed, developed and manufactured by Elsys Intelligent Devices, a former startup incubated by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the easy to install gadget is compatible with almost any car in India.

Equipped with crash sensors, GPS module, microphone, speaker and cellular connectivity, SafeDrive offers an ‘In-Vehicle Emergency Call’ (eCall) feature that automatically notifies the emergency centre for help in the event of a severe collision – even when the victims are unable to respond due to injury or shock.

Upon detecting a serious impact, SafeDrive initiates a voice-call and sends out a ‘Minimum Set of Data’ (MSD) that includes the exact location of the incident and speed of the vehicle. This helps the emergency centre assess the situation, speak with the victims, notify their family/friends and coordinate emergency assistance.

Other features include a one-touch assistance button, hands-free two-way calling, live vehicle-tracking, trip history, smart alerts, roadside assistance, driving analysis and score.

“This innovative, easy to use product is an important step towards instilling safe driving practices. The Kerala Police will provide an interface to test SafeDrive on our roads. The hope is that more such devices will be developed, brought into the market and used by motorists,” Behera said, unveiling and handing over the first device to Shri G. Mohandas, Chairman, Mohandas Group of Companies.

Noting that road safety was a major concern especially for women drivers, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) Managing Director Dr M. Beena said such devices would be life-savers.

“SafeDrive is a made-in-India solution to a global concern. As the automobile industry is racing towards connected and self-driving cars, we are building a network of emergency and essential services that all existing cars and the future-cars can connect to. We have so far aggregated a network of over 3,500 road-emergency service providers across India. We are approaching automobile manufacturers, insurance providers, road transport entities and law enforcement agencies to extend this network to as many people as possible,” Elsys co-founder and CEO Prasad Pillai said.

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