Indian Public Transport Vehicles To Be Safer Through Mandated Connected Technology

In what is certainly a clear, definitive and integrated application of vehicular connected technology in the country, the Indian Government has issued a notification last week mandating all new public transport vehicles in the country (except auto and e- rickshaws) must be fitted with vehicle location tracking devices (VLT) and emergency panic buttons on and after January 1st, 2019. The regulation is urgently being brought in with an objective to ensure the safety of travelling passengers.

OEMs, or their dealers, will be required to install and register the VLT device, along with vehicle details, on VAHAN, the country’s national vehicle registry.

States and VLT manufacturers have been advised to look at providing the necessary back-office services for monitoring and are expected to support setting up command and control centers, building the required interface network to stakeholders. Public Transport Vehicle owners are to ensure their VLT devices are in working condition and are regularly sending data through cellular connectivity.

For existing commissioned public service vehicles, and those newly registered up to 31st December 2018,  separate notifications on deadlines are to be issued by individual State governments for when they are to have their respective VLTs and emergency panic buttons installed.

Given the two-month short window to come into effect, this notification is certainly going to cause an urgent scramble and stimulate demand for vehicular telematics equipment, high-speed mobile/internet services, as well as for the corresponding data processing capacity and skill requirements.

With greater adoption of connected technology anticipated, mandated mainstream application possibly on private vehicles will not be far off.