By Kabeer Yousuf - MUSCAT — If the unswerving efforts of two young Omani academics see fruition, the Omani roads are soon going to be under the surveillance of a radar system that will focus on safety and security of drivers and vehicles in the country.
The three-in-one motor control system developed by two ambitious young SQUians specialised in Information Systems, Dr Jamil Darwish al Shaqsi, Assistant Professor with the help of his colleague Dr Hafedh Ibrahim al Shihi, this radar system is awaiting the green signal from the Royal Oman Police (ROP).
Once functional inside the vehicle, the small device is equipped to set off beeps as and when the driver pushes the accelerator a bit higher than permitted. After 10 to 15 seconds and if the driver is still heedless, the machine will send out a message to the ROP who, in return, will send an electronic ticket to the driver for violating the speed rule. Simultaneously, the fine will be recorded in his data with the traffic.
“This has been a long-felt dream, rather a need, while witnessing the surging number of road accidents in the country,” an elated Dr Jamil told the Observer. A prototype of the device was put on display at the Traffic Expo held at the Oman International Exhibition Centre, to the awe of the visitors.
The second area where the radar comes handy is in the unfortunate incident of accidents. A built-in black box is a part of the device which will be attached to the car and will record all the actions and conversations of the driver till he met with an accident. It works exactly as the so-called black boxes in flights. “This will help the cops in assessing the gravity of the accident and reasons and the method”.
Likewise, monitoring the movement of the vehicle by company officials will also be made easy. The GPS (Global Positioning System) will be enabled by the device which will send out signals alerting the company officials of the vehicle movement. This becomes doubly beneficial especially in times of adverse weather. The transport department can alert the driver of possible road blocks ahead and suggest probable diversions as well, thus saving time.
If one concludes that fitting such a device to one’s vehicle would be an expensive affair, he says they are sadly mistaken. “The cost of this device will be very minimal and will be borne by the driver himself once fitting it to the vehicle becomes mandatory in the country,” Dr Hafedh added. They also said that they would work out strategies to get the support from the insurance companies against the satellite vehicle monitoring system.
The ROP senior officials commented to the Observer that at a time when road fatalities are shooting high with minimal average of 23 deaths a week, novel attempts like this hold great relevance and that they are seriously considering such a device for the Oman roads.