India to abolish all unmanned level crossings to improve citizen safety
India is currently home to the third largest railway network in the world, which is currently not supported by a strong infrastructure. However, the Minister of Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhu has announced that a “Mission Zero Incident” scheme will be implemented in order to abolish all unmanned level crossings on Broad Gauge within the next four years as a sub-project to the “Mission Zero Accident”, within his recent budget plans.
There have been increased efforts to raise awareness through various campaigns, leaflets, posters, lecturers and digital messaging in order to highlight its importance for citizens to be conscious of potential risks.
In 2014, 27,581 citizens died through railway-related accidents within, with over 3,500 injured, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
In his budget speech, Prabhu said: “We intend to eliminate all unmanned level crossings on broad gauge in the next 3-4 years for which innovative financing mechanisms are being developed”
“A single accident or loss of a single life causes me great sorrow and anguish. It also demonstrates that we still have a long way to go in realizing our objective of a zero accident regime.”
As a short-term measure, the Ministry of Railways has sourced Gate Mitras (Gate Counsellors) to ensure road users take suitable measures to avoid any potential dangerous incidents at unmanned crossings. Out of 28,607 level crossings within the country, 9340 are currently unmanned.
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Buildots secures US$30mn in Series B Funding
Buildots, an AI construction firm developing artificial intelligence systems for the construction industry, has announced it has secured US$30mn in a Series B funding round to expand its operations. The round was backed by Lightspeed Ventures with participation from TLV Partners, Future Energy Ventures, and Tidhar Construction Group, Buildots’ former investors.
The company secured US$16mn in funding in 2020, and its AI computer vision systems are now being used in projects across 12 countries including the US, UK, Switzerland, Germany, and Hong Kong.
The role of the construction industry in digital transformation
Discussing the industry’s involvement in digital transformation, Roy Danon, co-founder and CEO of Buildots, said: “When it comes to digital transformation, construction has been a sleeping giant and Covid-19 served as an accelerator for the industry.“We are now working with construction companies in over a dozen countries and what we’re seeing is that the challenges Buildots is addressing are ubiquitous around the world.
“A global expansion at the rate we’ve experienced would have ordinarily been impossible in an industry like construction that has its roots in handshake deals and in-person relationships without the new Covid reality of remote meetings and even deal signings,” he added.
Tal Morgenstern, Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, believes the sector can make a difference to GDP but is struggling to make a statement in the technology industry. “Construction is a massive market with real GDP impact but it is still underserved by technology,” Morgenstern said.
However, Morgenstern points out that change is possible, adding: “We believe Buildots is the company that will change that reality. The rapid adoption Buildots has seen to date is driven exclusively by word of mouth. Following that success, this financing round will support an aggressive growth plan going forward.”
Buildots’ systems and AI algorithms work by validating images captured by 360-degree cameras mounted to hardhats. This allows the algorithms to detect any gaps between design, scheduling, the final product on the construction site.