By Nnamdi Odumody
According to the WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2017, there are 1.35 million fatalities from road accidents every year due to preventable crashes, and between 20 and 50 million sustain non fatal injuries.
The Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report shows that in the first quarter of 2018, about 1292 people died in 2,482 road accidents in Nigeria. Speed Violation was reported as the major cause of road accidents in Q1 and it accounted for 50.81 percent of the total road crashes reported. Between July and September 2018, no fewer than 126 lives were lost in road accidents.
From the data, a total of 28,195 lives were lost in 68 months i.e. 415 lives every month, 14 persons every day and two lives every four hours.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) stated that in May 2017 there were 33.7 deaths per 100,000 people in Nigeria from road accidents which is one of the highest in Africa with Zimbabwe the worst in the world with 74.5 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The world average is 17.4 while Africa is 26.6. Norway has the least road fatality in the world with two deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, according to International Transport Forum Road Safety Annual Report for 2018.
Derq, a spin off from MIT based in Detroit and Dubai, wants to prevent these horrible tragedies from happening. It has a mission to eliminate road accidents and save lives by using proprietary artificial intelligence and V2X (Vehicle to Everything) technology. It can predict and prevent car accidents before anyone else on the road.
Its goal is to predict and prevent collisions at any time, independent of vehicle model, autonomy and surroundings. In Detroit and Dubai, Derq’s software monitors vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, scooters and other vulnerable road user interactions to predict and prevent collisions, creating up to two additional seconds of warning time for drivers and vehicles.
Its V2X technology is designed to support improved automotive safety, automated driving and traffic efficiency and is based on globally recognized 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) specifications with ongoing evolution designed to offer forward compatibility with 5G. Its technology spans driver behavior modeling, deep learning methods, advanced driver assistance, perception and sensor fusion, V2I Communication and Embedded Systems Design.
Derq won the first prize for Artificial Intelligence pitch at the 2019 SXSW Pitch.
Nigeria will need this as we are losing many people on road accidents in the nation.