New traffic rules: Uber feels onus is on drivers; Ola issues advisory

Mamuni Das / Mirza Mohammed Khan New Delhi | Updated on October 01, 2019

Cab aggregators differ from bus and truck aggregators on the extent of responsibility they should shoulder as traffic rules get more stringent and fines heftier.

Uber feels the primary responsibility should be with the drivers. Ola too feels the same, but has issued an internal advisory to drivers asking them to follow the new rules. RailYatri, a bus aggregator, however, has installed speed-checking gadgets and tests its drivers for alcohol and speed.

It has also installed devices that alerts when drivers fall asleep at the wheel.

None of the cab aggregators track data on traffic violations (including overspeeding) and penalties imposed on vehicle or driver.

“We have no method of doing it,” Pavan Vaish, Head of Central Operations (Rides), Uber, India and South Asia, Uber, told BusinessLine.“They (government) revised it to what seems to be an appropriate penalty,” Vaish said, indicating that the government move to increase penalties is in tune with global standards. “There is no mechanism to report traffic rule violations and penalties,” said Vaish.

Ola did not respond to BusinessLine queries. Sources, however, shared that it has sent advisories regarding new penalties to its drivers.

Installing gadgets

RailYatri, on the other hand, has a centralised command centre and tracks the buses through GPS and CCTVs installed inside the buses. “We get a real-time feed of speed,” said Manish Rathi, CoFounder, RailYatri, which runs buses for intercity travel.

To prevent drunk driving, RailYatri conducts alcohol test on drivers before they start the trip . It uses a face scanning technology, combined with alcohol test device, and controls bus ignition through an onboard device installed in buses to prevent drunk driving.

RailYatri, which has buses plying between cities at night, also found that drivers tend to fall asleep at wheels between 4am and 5 am. To tackle this problem, it has installed face-scanning devices in the driver’s cabin, which also monitors the movements and raises an alert on any symptom of fatigue or stress .

“The system alerts the driver as well as the command centre, which then instructs the driver to stop and allow the other driver to take over. This is done by the bus captain who is present onboard and keeps a watch on the driver as well as the 24x7 command centre to monitor any speeding issues or rash driving,” Rathi said.

“Every half-an-hour we have people monitoring speed. We have a pre-defined time schedule for every activity and stops and keep a buffer time to manage enroute traffic. Hence, the command centre, as well as the driver, simply need to stick to the schedule,” Rathi told BusinessLine.

GoBOLT, a company which is an aggregator for cargo trucks, monitors drivers’ behaviour by tracking parameters such as over-speeding and harsh manoeuvres.

That said, Ola and Uber handle a much higher number of vehicles compared to RailYatri and GoBOLT.

Published on October 01, 2019

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