Delhi has been suffering from serious problems related to traffic congestion, pollution as well as road accidents. There is a need for both serious researches on these issues as well as work on the developmental aspects involving closer collaboration among the Government, academia and industry. With this objective, IIIT-Delhi, in collaboration with Delhi Knowledge Development Foundation (DKDF) is establishing a ‘Centre of Sustainable Mobility’ as a Centre of Excellence at the Institute.
The new research centre will focus on solving the problem of urban transportation in Delhi. The problem of sustainable mobility is a complex problem that requires design and optimisation, relying on data analytics and interdisciplinary research that includes computer science, artificial intelligence, electronics engineering as well as design. IIIT-Delhi has faculty members specialising on various research areas across these disciplines. The institute provides an adequate infrastructure with world class facilities to aid such advanced research and learning.
The researchers at IIIT-Delhi have been working with the Transport department of the GNCTD as well as various transit agencies like DTC, DIMTS and Delhi Metro over the last 3 years to create systems like Open Transit Data, Open Ticketing Framework for contactless ticketing in buses, depot management tool for the DTC etc. The faculty of the institute also worked with the World Bank for Chennai transit agencies as well southern railways to collect, clean and open transit data.
The Centre of Sustainable Mobility, through its research focus, will not only enhance public transit, but will also save lives by preventing road accidents. Road accidents kill more than 1.5 million people every year in India and affect more than 1 crore people with serious injuries every year. The loss of GDP due to road accidents is estimated to be around 2% only. Many of these unfortunate outcomes can be reduced by creating a better transport infrastructure in the county and the Centre of Sustainable Mobility will strive towards it. Moreover, sustainable public transit can also play a key role in decreasing the pollution in Delhi by removing cars from the roads and enabling people to avail public transit.
The centre will also open up new avenues and courses for training students in the field of public transportation, electric vehicles as well as road safety. There is a greater need for the new age courses to be connected to the SDG goals of the UN.
Dr. Pravesh Biyani, the Faculty in charge of the Centre on Sustainable Mobility has said “[We have been engaging with DTC, DIMTS and the transport department for 3 years. We have successfully executed the country's biggest real-time open data project as well as contactless ticketing project that is now rolled out in all the buses of Delhi. We hope to take our engagement to the next level through this centre. We also hope that technologies we build here are used not only in India but throughout the world. The main goal of this centre is to promote public transit as much as we can".
During the announcement of the new Research Centre, Director, Prof. Ranjan Bose said, “From the perspective of mobility, we are gradually moving towards an increasingly connected, autonomous, electrified, and shared future. The Centre will catalyze research, development and entrepreneurial activities in the area of smart/ sustainable mobility, with a focus on mobility-related problems of Delhi/ NCR. "