Information Technology

Traveler : using big data and machine intelligence to reduce road accidents

Written by barrylyndon

Tell us a few words about the founders and how the idea came :

Achiri Arnold Nji is a 27 year old Cameroonian who was among the top 20 students in Cameroon during the GCE A – level 2009. He studied 3 years of electrical engineering at Polytechnique Yaounde. He is fluent in English  and french. He is one of the winners of the Empowering People Award organized by Siemens Stiftung. He is also a winner of the African Entrepreneurship Award organized by BMCE Bank of Africa. He is currently shortlisted for the prestigious “Africa Prize for Engineering Innovations”  organized by the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK. He is inspired by the humanitarian works of Peter Drucker and he strongly believes that with a robust system in transport and information in Africa, road accidents and emergency response can be ameliorated.

How the idea came about

It a well-known fact that road accidents kill a lot of Cameroonians. Statistics from a World Bank report published in 2014 proves that road accidents were amongst the leading cause of death in Cameroon, with the number of victims of road traffic accidents more than victims of malaria and AIDS combined. The sickening issue here isn’t that road accidents are disproportionately high in Cameroon and Africa in General, but that when these accidents occur, emergency services either arrive late at the scene of the accident, or don’t go at all. This leaves victims in the hands of people who know little or nothing about first aid. Most of these victims die on their way to the hospital

Your products and services :

The description of the app itself is as follows; Traveler is a mobile phone app which monitors the speed, location and number of passengers on a bus, and with the help of BIG DATA and Machine intelligence alerts drivers and authorities to potential dangers. The system automatically sends high speed alerts each time a given bus runs above regulatory speed limits. This helps reduce over speeding which is responsible for over 70 percent of highway accidents in Cameroon. In the unfortunate case of an accident, the app notifies emergency services and families of victims. The app also empowers people with no prior knowledge of first aid at the scene of an accident to give lifesaving assistance to victims in the absence of trained emergency personnel.

The app is free to the ordinary Cameroonian who travels every day, and we can only notify families of people who register their journeys. It is of paramount importance that every Cameroonian uses our app before a journey.

Traveler is made up of two apps that can do the same thing – one for transport companies and the other for passengers. The passenger app’s role is to permit passengers register their journeys for free so that during an emergency, friends and family are contacted automatically (for free).

Traveler also has a monitor that tracks the speed, position and performance of all buses registered in the system and automatically rates all drivers of public transport buses.

 Your success factors

  • The number of users of our app. We already have more than 5000 users and we hope to have more than 1.5 million by December 2017.
  • The number of insurance companies subscribing for data on the buses they insure. We already have some local partners ready to work with us.
  • The number of transport companies subscribing for data and information concerning the performance of the drivers driving their buses. We already have 4 ready to work with us, and we are looking to working with all transport companies in Cameroon, totaling more than 500 buses
  • The number of government institutions who subscribe to information concerning speed alerts and reckless driving susceptible to cause an accident. We are currently negotiating with the ministry of transport and public health. We can provide speed and position details to government officials, and we can automatically alert hospitals on behalf of the government.

Your factors differentiating and disruptive compared to the existing

We track interurban public transport buses and connect passengers to families, and hospitals automatically. We automatically record the location, speed, bus number and number of passengers in a bus and forward this information to road safety teams, each time a driver of a bus drives above recommended speed limits. We have made it possible to use ‘big data analytics’ to monitor the performance of drivers on the highway and give them advice concerning events susceptible to cause an accident. We literarily can predict an accident based on a driver’s speed/location coefficient (big data).

Our app provides a guide on how survivors of road accidents can take care of themselves while waiting for emergency teams. our app also provides a guide through which people with no knowledge in first aid can assist and transport victims of road accidents to nearby hospitals in the absence of emergency teams, without worsening the medical situation of the said victims. Where on earth has a phone app been developed to tackle effectively road accidents and the problems associated with them? Road accidents are the leading cause of death in the world, and a bulk (90%) of all victims (51.3 million per year) occurs in developing countries!

Your business model

We are a profit making company with a moral responsibility to prevent accidents and provide vital lifesaving information when an accident inevitably occurs. We practice the B2B, B2G and B2C models.

  • B2B: We sell data to insurance companies on the basis of a monthly subscription. They can come to us at any time and demand data as to the exact cause of an accident involving the buses they insure. Transport companies also use our monitoring screens to keep track of the performances of their drivers along the road and what passengers think about them. This can allow them make changes that passengers like.
  •  B2G: We provide the government with a platform that receives information automatically concerning reckless driving o accidents. They pay us on monthly subscription basis. They also purchase data on subscription basis to investigate the causes on an accident.
  • B2C: Although the passenger app is free and the notification of hospitals and families is also free, we have made a premium, which shall cost a mere $0.2 per user, and we shall provide financial assistance when an accident occurs to all premium users, up to 100% depending on the hospital bill.

 A few words about your competitors

There is currently no direct competition.

  • Speed RADAR for detection of speed used by road safety teams: In most Developed countries RADARS are being used to check over speeding. This has more or less impacted the performances of drivers. We are yet to see the impact of such a technology in Cameroon , as 1 or 2 of such RADARs are used to cover a distance of about 300 km, and are even completely inexistent in some other roads.
  • Speedometers to show drivers the speeds of the buses they drive: Most cars in Cameroon (Africa) have speedometers mounted on them, although 60% don’t function well, while some drivers don’t even care to look at the dashboard during a journey!
  • Blackbox (only available in aircrafts, trains and ships): technology found the need to put a blackbox in aircrafts, ships and trains, but completely ignored public transport buses! I still don’t understand the reasoning and logic behind this indifference to the many problems associated with public transport buses

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