Conducts a first-of-its-kind Hackathon for school children on Road Safety
Aligning with Toyota’s global commitment to offer innovative Safety solutions, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) conceptualized and organized Toyota Hackathon on Road Safety at RV College of Engineering. Students from Grade 9th to 12th participated in this intense challenge to develop brainstorming solutions in support of the National Mission “Zero Fatality”. Through this initiative, TKM aims to provide a platform to encourage, motivate and engage young talents to be more aware of road safety challenges and be responsible safety ambassadors by developing effective digital road safety solutions. While this is the second edition of the Hackathon, the first edition took place in New Delhi in December 2018.
The event witnessed the presence of Mr. C. Mallikarjun, Joint Transport Commissioner, Bangalore, Mr. Amit Kumar Saroha, Paralympian, Asian Para Games medalist & Arjun Awardee, Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Government officials and senior members from TKM. The top performers of the Hackathon were selected by eminent jury members comprising of Media, Academicians, Corporates, Government Representatives, Enforcement Agencies (Police) and Toyota experts. The top ten and the best three were awarded trophies and cash prizes. Consolation prizes were also given out to motivate the participants for their great participation spirit and churning such smart solutions for road safety challenges.
The event was organized in prestigious RV College, Bangalore. The college has extended dedicated support to Toyota providing volunteers, mentors and campus facility for conducting the Hackathon.
In the initial stage of the Hackathon program, a basic online test was conducted for the 600 teams. A three-phase screening process were undertaken to shortlist the best 50 teams for the onsite Hackathon. These top 50 teams were trained on key technical skills coupled with mentoring from industry experts. Further, each team was allotted 36 hours to work on their ideas and develop a prototype on road safety solution, which were put on display as part of an Exhibition. TKM will build this further by incubating and nurturing these implementable solutions in support of the road safety cause.
Sharing his thoughts on this unique program, Mr. Bhaskar Rao, Commissioner of Police, Bangalore, said: “Around 149,000 people lost their lives on Indian roads in 2018 alone. India accounts for about 2% of motor vehicles globally, yet it’s responsible for more than 11% of road traffic deaths. Road accidents not only cause loss of lives but also deeply impact socio-economic condition of the country. The dangers on the road impacts everyone and hence is a vital topic of discussion everywhere. Children are one of the worst victims of road accidents and it is important we educate school children to prioritize road safety to ensure responsible future generation. It gives me immense pleasure to witness these young budding talents participate in this competitive platform to be the real change agent in addressing the national drive on road safety. It is really great that safety leaders like Toyota have come forward to create such a brilliant platform for young minds to develop innovative solutions to make Indian roads more safe. We would request more corporates to collaborate with Government to make mobility more safer and reliable”.
Commenting on the initiative, Guest of Honor for the event, Mr. Amit Kumar Saroha, Paralympian, Asian Para Games medalist & Arjun Awardee, said: “Road traffic injuries have been the eighth leading cause of deaths in India in 2018. Minors involved in road crash deaths were at 6.6% of the total deaths. Road Traffic Accidents have a significant social and economic impact on the individual, family and the society. It is very important that we promote Road Safety Education in school curriculum to educate the children on right road safety habits and the importance of following correct road practices at an early age. It is a privilege to associate with Toyota for the Start Your Impossible campaign, an organization known for its safety leadership globally. I am delighted to be present in this unique platform to motivate these young change makers who are developing such out of the box solutions to enhance road safety in India. We have to be serious about the critical situation of road safety now to ensure safer roads for the young generation tomorrow. This Road Safety Hackathon is an effective and fun way to engage children in making a change.”
Congratulating all the participants, Mr. Naveen Soni, Vice President – Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said: “Road Safety is not one person responsibility. It has an impact on every age group. As Safety crusaders, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure that we create a safety ecosystem integrating people, vehicles & traffic environment. Children play a vital role in spreading the message of road safety in the society. Toyota has been working closely with its dealer partners, suppliers, schools to spread safety culture amongst children, The Safety Hackathon is continuation of similar initiatives to make children the change agents for tomorrow. We are delighted to see the enthusiasm that the young talents have shown in being a part of this unique platform to design innovative solutions for improving road safety in India.
Toyota aims to create an ever-better society making mobility more enjoyable, safe, energy efficient and congestion free. To take this commitment to safety a step further, Toyota launched its global corporate initiative, Start Your Impossible (SYI), to achieve the ultimate goal of zero traffic fatality. It is through these initiatives that Toyota is committed to achieving a safer, more sustainable and mobile world for everyone.”
“Start Your Impossible” marks Toyota’s commitment to support the creation of a more inclusive and sustainable society in which everyone can challenge their impossible. SYI is also inspired by Toyota’s Worldwide partnership with the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee to highlight the fighting spirit of Olympic and Paralympic athletes who are constantly challenging their “impossible”.
Start Your Impossible (SYI) champion & Guest of Honor for the event Arjuna Awardee Paralympian Amit Saroha also enlightened the participants on the importance of road safety and the need for the right safety behavior.
The road safety Hackathon session for digital solutions to the road safety problem appear to stem from three different conceptual approaches:
• Driver Behavior (Education): Improving driver skills and building applications and/or simplistic devices that can be integrated to make driving much easier and efficient targeting both domestic as well as commercial drivers. Such improved and assistive technologies can prove to be highly beneficial in bringing down the number of accidents.
• Road Conditions (Infrastructure): Bad road conditions are one of the most difficult problems to tackle with on-ground implementation because of the cost, labor and logistics needed. The objective is to look for some feasible digital solutions which could monitor and handle such problems more efficiently.
• Fraud Detection (Enforcement): A majority of the accidents are caused by rookies and unauthorized drivers with violations such as underage drivers, drunken driving, drivers without appropriate licenses, etc. The aim is to arrive at such applications that could be employed to make the task of analyzing and detecting frauds on the roads easier.
TKM has been championing the cause of road safety and driving behavioral change since 2007 with the launch of various road safety awareness programs. Some of the key safety initiatives in pursuance of its safety mission, “Safest Car with Safest Driver” are:
• Toyota Driving School (TDS): TKM in association with its dealer partners launched Toyota Driving School in a phased manner across India. The training module integrates technical expertise along with enhancing behavioral skills to create awareness about safety nationwide. Till date, it has enrolled 8,500 plus students and aims to open 50 Toyota Driving Schools in the next five years.
• Toyota Safety Education Programme (TSEP): TKM pioneers in implementing the road safety program and since its launch in 2007, TSEP has covered more than 740,000 school children across India bringing about a positive change in the behavior as road users. Toyota is also working with various stakeholders including – schools, business partners and police to take this initiative to a larger audience.
• Team Toyota Activity (TTA): TTA educates and sensitizes school children, teachers, parents and school bus drivers on responsible safety habits to enable a safer traffic environment for the next generation. It is implemented in collaboration with Toyota’s Business partners specially focusing on road safety. With seven Safety Model Schools across the country, over 6000 students have benefited from this initiative.
As part of its CSR interventions, TKM also encourages its employees to voluntarily contribute to the cause of Road Safety by building basic road safety requirements and installing: Sign Boards, Solar Blinkers, Cat Eye Reflectors, Convex Mirrors at turns etc. at prime locations to avoid road-related risks as a preventive measure and enable good road infrastructure.
Toyota remains committed as a safety leader and will continue its safety journey to become the most admired company by offerings best-in-class safety technology through its products and further promote safety culture in the society via varied road safety campaigns in the nation.