Research Project

Centre of Excellence (COE) for Advance Data Management System for Highways (ADMS-Highways) at IIT Delhi

Geetam Tiwari, K.R. Rao, K.N. Jha, A.K. Swamy, Manoj M, AKN, Mana

Project Details

Background

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1988 under the administrative control of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. NHAI has been set up as a Central Authority to develop, maintain and manage the National Highways entrusted to it by the Government of India. The authority, however, became operational in February, 1995. NHAI is mandated to implement National Highways Development Project (NHDP) which is India’s largest ever Highways Project in a phased manner. The National Highways have a total length of 1,32,499 (approx.) km to serve as the arterial network of the country. Although National Highways constitute only about 2 per cent of the road network, it carries 40 per cent of the total road traffic. Rapid expansion of passenger and freight traffic makes it imperative to improve the road network in the country.

NHAI website states the vision and mission of NHAI as following:

Vision

To meet the nation’s need for the provision and maintenance of National Highways network to global standards and to meet user’s expectations in the most time-bound and cost-effective manner, within the strategic policy framework set by the Government of India and thus promote economic well-being and quality of life of the people.

Mission

  • To develop, maintain and manage National Highways vested in it by the Government.
  • To collect fees on National Highways, regulate and control the plying of vehicles on National Highways for its proper management.
  • To develop and provide consultancy and construction services in India and abroad and carry on research activities in relation to the development, maintenance and management of highways or any other facilities there at.
  • To advise the Central Government on matters relating to highways.
  • To assist on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon, any State Government in the formulation and implementation of schemes for highway development.

NHAI has launched several programs to meet the stated objectives and mission of NHAI.

In its latest efforts, NHAI, led by its IT Division, has built a strong IT Infrastructure in the last 4 years. The physical data generation (on paper) has been largely eliminated. Most applications, Office File Transfer, Bill Processing, Application Tracking, Quality Audit Management, Land Assets Monitoring, Project Monitoring & Management, Quality checks using Drones & LiDAR, Plantations, and Electronic Tolling (FASTag) are built on cloud and can be accessed from anywhere. On top of that, the organization has built the first of its kind Data Lake Project where all the structured & unstructured data with applications have come under a single unified platform.[1]

IIT Delhi has been invited to collaborate with NHAI to enhance its capability and performance by making use of data collected on various aspects and stored in the ‘data Lake’ system.

A meeting was held between NHAI representatives and IIT Delhi experts chaired by director IIT Delhi to discuss the proposal of setting up COE that would assist NHAI to focus on advanced analytics, modeling, simulations, and predictions based on Artificial Intelligence and ML. Some of the important areas identified by NHAI include project management workflows & alerts; possible litigations & disputes; traffic & tolling revenue growth; road safety & better incident management. More focus areas could be added depending on the needs of NHAI.

The COE activities will be supported by NHAI for five years in phase I.

COE Objectivities and Scope

The proposed COE at IIT Delhi will focus its activities to meet the following objectives:

  • To assist NHAI on advance analytics based on AI and ML on identified thrust areas
  • To assist NHAI prepare simulation models on identified thrust areas
  • To assist NHAI enhance data storage and retrieval capacities
  • To enable NHAI toward data-driven decision making

[1] Data Driven transformation of NHAI, report by NHAI, 2020

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