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Innovators want to end madness on the road

Patrick Mukunga and Colin Mundia are developing a system that will warn motorists when they are approaching blackspots

Seth Mwaniki @PeopleDailyKe

Indiscipline on Kenyan roads is of epic proportion thanks to corruption and impunity.

But two innovators from Nyeri county put their minds together and developed a technological solution that is promising to restore sanity on the roads.

The duo, Patrick Mukunga, a holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from Dedan Kimathi University of Technology and Colin Mundia, a holder of a bachelor of commerce degree from Strathmore University developed the system christened Speed Master two months ago.

It is built to digitally aid motorists by ensuring maximum safety in road use and at the same time police them to ensure that traffic rules are strictly observed.

The Speed Master system has undergone several test runs  and will use pre-set voice prompts.

Blackspot

For instance, when a motorist approaches an urban area, a public utility such as school, a bridge or a part of the road considered black spot it will alert them to slow down to eliminate risk of an accident.

In addition, the system is programmed to warn them of cash fines they could pay if they decline to adhere to the set speed limit. It will do so through a voice message sent from the server controlling it.

Mukunga says though the system is still a prototype, much has been done to ensure that its operation is accurate and efficient.

One of its biggest attributes is that  it is tamper proof since it works with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) to calculate speed, unlike speed governors that rely on the inbuilt vehicle system that works with rotation per minute (rpm) to determine speed.

“Once the inbuilt system of a vehicle fails, a speed governor fails too.The Speed Master is, however, beyond this going by the manner in which we have programmed it as it only uses distance and time to calculate its own speed with the help of GPS,” he says.

Sanity

Mundia says however good the Speed Master is, it will only work if the relevant authorities cooperate.

“We want the government to see the sense of this idea and partner with us so that we can walk together in pursuit of road sanity,” Mundia urges.

He adds that Speed Master will not only make motorists responsible, but will also increase revenue for the government by channelling monies in form of fines directly to designated accounts and by this, avoid loopholes created when speed checks are manually conducted, making it possible for offenders to part with bribes.

The system was an idea that was hatched more than two years ago following a spate of road accidents that claimed many lives. “Our idea looks small, mediocre to some, but in it there is a bigger solution to a problem that has led to loss of lives, disabled many and orphaned others. I am convinced that this can work,” Mundia says. Mukunga and Mundia, both self-employed, have been working on the system from the constricted space of their one-bedroom rental house for lack of adequate resources to rent a room that can serve as their workshop and have so far spent over Sh150,000 on the project.

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