National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi to set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for use of artificial intelligence (AI) in data-driven decision making and advance data management system for highways.
The MoU was signed in presence of Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, Chairman NHAI and Dr. V Ram Gopal Rao Director, IIT Delhi, and other senior officials.
Under the partnership, IIT Delhi will work with NHAI on developing advanced analytics based on AI and machine learning (ML), prepare simulation models, enhance data storage and retrieval capacities to further strengthen NHAI’s capabilities in data-driven decision making. The collaboration will be undertaken on the identified thrust areas like project management and data management, highway network traffic demand and incident management, highway safety, highway work-zone management, highway pavement management system. IIT Delhi will also give inputs for the NHAI data management policy.
As a part of the arrangement, IIT-Delhi will provide space and infrastructural facility support to house the CoE along with providing scientific and technical expertise to extend research facilities at par with academic activities of the Institute. Efforts will also be made to attract students and research scholars for setting up start-ups and incubators on different transportation and highways-related research solutions. NHAI on the other hand will provide the critical data support and necessary access to its information resources including the data software, ‘Data Lake’. NHAI will also extend the required financial support to carry out research and various activities at the proposed CoE.
The operations at the CoE shall be governed and managed by a two-tier management structure. An advisory board will be the highest-level committee mentoring the activities of the collaborative platform including initiation, continuation of work, approval of joint collaborative projects and suggest mechanisms to achieve the desired objectives. It shall also monitor the activities being undertaken and shall review the overall progress. At the second tier, a coordination committee will be constituted for overall coordination and timely progress.
This arrangement is set to remain in effect for over a period of five years and is expected to bring out highly effective digitised systems. This partnership will fuel advancement in various fields related to the new-age data-driven traffic and construction management systems for highways, that will not just benefit NHAI but the entire nation at large.
The advance AI-based data analytics of highways and traffic patterns at CoE will facilitate data-driven decision making at the national level.