Going to India for the 18th World Road Meeting

Two weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to travel all the way to India to attend the 18th World Road Meeting and to give a talk about something we have been working on since march 2017 at Qucit: Road Safety, Data Science & Artificial Intelligence!

The 18th IRF World Road Meeting

The 18th IRF World Road Meeting was organized from the 14th until the 17th of November in New Delhi, India. Every four years, the International Road Federation sets this knowledge event in a different city. The next city for the 2021 edition is yet to be determined.

Discussing the Future of Mobility in India

The theme of this 4-day forum — blessed by Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of Knowledge — was Safe Roads and Smart Mobility as Engines of Economic Growth. According to the organizer, “the conference provides an outlet for sharing cutting-edge research, best practices and experiences from across the world and is intended to be a premier knowledge event for discussing important issues facing the road, transport and mobility sector” and it was a success! India, which is one of the fastest growing economy in the world, provided a great case study for panelists — many of them were Indian specialists.

By the time I landed in Delhi, a city clogged with cars and clouded by the annual pollution-fog, I got the feeling that discussing road safety and smart mobility there made perfect sense!

Every year around November, the city suffers from ‘crisis-level’ pollution. This is worsened by crop-burning and industrial pollution in the adjoining states of New Delhi.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog in New Delhi, India, on Nov. 8, 2017.. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

 

Smart mobility isn’t just about getting there fast, safe and seamlessly, it also implies using cleaner modes of transportation to move within cities and between them.

Interestingly enough, conferences were not all about cars and dedicated roads. Other companies, experts and institutions working in the field of sustainable mobility were a great part of the discussions. For instance, many discussed ITS as a whole; data was even outlined as the fifth transport-mode! A parallel session explained the coming “Maas Effect” (Mobility as a Service)and how to prepare for this new era in transport.

Between the multiple plenary, technical and parallel sessions, participants had the opportunity to visit many exhibitors stands. Spread over 3,000 m2 of exhibition space, a handful of innovative mobility professionals were present. International companies such as Swarco or PTV Group, Indian specialists and even fellow French ones: Immergis but also Michelin. Dedicated regional pavilions were exhibiting as well; Australian Roads, Canadian and the Russian Federation.

RoadPredict — a tool to improve road safety on highways with A.I

After submitting a Technical Paper to the IRF, Qucit was selected to present the RoadPredict tool during one of the “Safer Roads” Parallel Session.

The topic was on to “how to use Artificial Intelligence & Data Science to improve safety on motorways”. We discussed the results of our partnership with Egis Exploitation Aquitaine on the A63 highway between Bordeaux & Bayonne. This 15 minutes presentation was a great opportunity to explain the scientific protocol put in place by Qucit’s data scientists in order to create a dedicated tool for highways operators. This tool is relying on machine learning and predicts when and where incidents will happen to optimize their patrols and save lives!

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