A seismic change is on the horizon for the Indian Transportation Industry. In a bid to make Indian cities “smarter”, the government has realised the importance of revolutionising the transportation and communication sectors of India. With this realisation, a conscious decision to integrate Intelligent Transport Systems came about. And so, the AIS 140 was born.
Spearheaded by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the standard is aimed at streamlining management, operations and safety related to the public transport of India. Thus, under the ITS, AIS guidelines have been formulated by the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) with the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). AIS 140 is one of the decrees under AIS guidelines.
The Automotive Industry Standard 140 (AIS 140) is a collection of directives published that make it mandatory for all public and commercial passenger carrying vehicles to have a vehicle tracking system embedded within. It must also include camera surveillance and emergency request buttons. The directive from the government has made is compulsory for every state’s transport department to comply with the AIS 140 guidelines.
AIS 140: A Glance
The Automotive Industry Standard 140 (AIS 140) has been conceived keeping the safety of the public in mind in all public transport and commercial ferry vehicles. The AIS 140 norm has to be implemented on all upcoming, new and existing vehicles.
Due to the large volume of vehicles in the country, compliance seems to be the major issue. A testament to that is the fact that the implementation deadline has been pushed two to three times now. However, the government is confident that while there is a delay, it will ultimately ensure that all vehicles end up conforming to the standard eventually and efficiently. Their goal is to improve the quality of life for the Indian citizens, and with that, enhance the transport network of India to meet global standards.
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As per the drafted norm, the standard makes it mandatory for public transport vehicles to have vehicle tracking systems installed such as a school bus tracking system that transmit location of the vehicle in real time, along with all other vehicle related metrics. Moreover, compliance to the standard would be incomplete if there is no emergency button within the vehicle.
Talking about the specifications, the device must be able to transmit location in real time, along with speed, fuel consumption rate and other vehicle information to government servers. Moreover, the panic button, when triggered, must deliver an SOS call to a pre-configured authorised IP address. Along with that, to ensure optimum safety, the device must have a battery backup feature, minimum for 4 hours.
Advantages of AIS 140
AIS 140 brings with it a slew of advantages. The benefit of this mandate is heightened public safety, public transport efficiency and optimising the public transport system by involving ITS in the mix. When we talk about the benefits of this mandate, we focus on factors like safety, optimisation, monitoring and improvement.
With rampant cases of murders and unlawful activities hurrying across the nation, the Government felt it prudent to deploy a safety standards across all public transport vehicles. The majority of the Indian workforce takes the public transport every day to commute to work. So, it was in their best interest to ensure that the vehicle they are on is appropriately surveilled.
With this standard, the authorities will be able to locate criminal activities and respond immediately. Moreoever, with the emergency SOS button, the law enforcement can timely save those in distress. It is hoped that the crime rates in the country will see a steep decline when the AIS 140 comes into absolute effect.
As of now, the drivers in the Indian public transportation industry are left to their own devices and are not actually managed as they should be. But with AIS 140, this pattern is bound to change. The drivers in this sector are notorious for flouting traffic rules, drunk driving and over speeding. With a vehicle tracking system deployed with their vehicle, they would now be monitored and their performance checked.
This is a big step in restraining road accidents to the best of the government’s abilities. Moreover, the standard of people employed as drivers is set to improve, as they will be constantly checked on their driving, and rewarded or trained accordingly.
The public transport in India, in terms of vehicle performance, leaves a lot to be desired. Due to negligence on the part of the concerned authorities, as well as the drivers, the vehicles are not appropriately maintained. Their upkeep is generally neglected, resulting in frequent problems and breakdowns. This snag in the transport circuit causes delays, and the entire network gets upset. However, AIS 140 is here to change that.
With a VTS, the government fleet managers will be able to stay on top of all the upcoming maintenance activities that are required by the fleet. Apart from that, the managers would be able to stay abreast with the current health of the vehicle, know about the fuel consumption, engine health, idling etc., and ensure servicing right on time.
It is high time that all sectors of the Indian government jump on the technology bandwagon, primarily the transportation industry. A lot of time and effort goes in vain to figure out logistics, routes and traffic conditions. But with AIS 140, a vehicle tracking system that will be installed within can help with that. It will allow the driver to map out the routes, thus taking the shortest route possible in the minimum time possible.
Moreover, regular traffic updates will help the driver in navigating effectively, avoiding those stretches and saving time and energy. Along with that, the managers will have an easy time in monitoring the estimated arrivals and departures of various public transport such that the network runs seamlessly and is hassle-free.
As soon as AIS 140 is implemented throughout the country, a technological revolution will be on the forefront. An intelligent transport network will arise and a streamlined framework will be established.
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Quick read: A Guide to AIS-140