Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, as a future measure of vehicle safety and driver convenience, is inevitable. Team Overtake Assistants comprising Siddhant Sangai, Rohan Palkar, Umang Wani, Saumil Srivastava and Suyash Srivastava from the Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune wanted to portray a simulation of V2V communication and how it can be achieved on ordinary cars in real time. The innovation made it to the Top 30 entries at KPIT Sparkle 2018.
Road accidents have been one of the leading causes of loss of human lives across the country. Driving under the influence of alcohol and over speeding are two of the most prominent reasons of road accidents; so is overtaking. As per a Ministry of Road Transport and Highways report, 30,000 lives were lost due to overtaking alone in 2015, and further 26,000 were lost due to stationary vehicles and objects on the road, which the driver could not see while overtaking.
The five-member team from MIT, Pune aimed to utilise V2V communication to assist drivers during the drive, and hence reduce the number of road accidents, especially on highways. Team Overtake Assistants assumes a classic overtaking situation, wherein car B is following car A and wants to carry out an overtaking. Both cars are assumed to have a dash camera. When Car A is close enough and falls within the region of interest of Car B, Car B will perform number plate recognition on Car A. The number is used as a unique communication address for handshaking between the two vehicles. This address will be used to establish a V2V communication between the two cars, and the real time dash-cam footage of Car A will be transmitted and displayed on the dashboard of Car B, thus enabling the Car B driver to see what is in front of Car A, thus helping him take a better informed and safer decision. This is how the team is working on making the roads ‘transparent’.
Through this project, Team Overtake Assistants strived to create a starting pathway into the implementation of V2V communication and leverage this technology to reduce the number of road accidents owing to risky overtaking. Sample this: you are driving near the ghats or a narrow road, and there is a car or a heavy vehicle in front of you. And you want to overtake this vehicle. What would you do? You would be forced to swerve to the other side of the road, see if there is any vehicle coming from the other side. If yes, you will have to swerve back to your side. This trial and error method of overtaking is something that most drivers attempt frequently. It is a risky process, which leads to many accidents because the driver cannot see what is coming from the other side before he decides to overtake. This problem can be addressed by making the vehicle in front of you ‘transparent’, which effectively means that the technology enables you to see what is in front of the vehicle, before you decide whether to overtake or not.
The team advocates the use of a dash cam in every vehicle. One of the team members, Siddhant Sangai said when the team started working on this project, they were sure of only one thing – solve a critical problem that leads to major loss of human lives on roads. The concept of V2V communication stemmed from the team’s desire to create something ground-breaking, which will bring about a completely new level of safety and convenience to drivers, he noted.