Innovation looks to curb accidents, fuel siphoning


Robert Njuguna, inventor of fuel sensor. PHOTO | POOL

When Robert Njuguna came up with a system that manages fuel levels and usage, his main concern was to help investors in the transport sector to manage fuel consumption and avoid fuel siphoning by rogue drivers.

His dream has turned into a reality as his innovation does precisely that. The system is connected to a mobile phone and lets you know when fuel is being siphoned from a vehicle.

The platform also helps curb accidents caused by drivers on free gear to save fuel, which they later siphon.

He came up with the invention in 2019 but it was put to use in 2020. Currently, he has one corporate client with a fleet of trucks. He also has individual business owners in the transport sector using his invention.

It costs between Sh45,000 and Sh50,000 to connect both the speed limiter and the fuel level sensor.

Mr Njuguna says the limiter has an output feature that monitors fuel and is connected to a fuel level sensor.

This system, Mr Njuguna is confident, will force rogue drivers to stop using free gear, which is against the transport regulator’s rules. It has also been cited as one of the causes of accidents.

“For many years, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and traffic police have grappled with road accidents, some of them as a result of driving on free gear,” Mr Njuguna says.

“With long-distance drivers who mostly engage in the act ( of siphoning fuel) aware that fuel usage is monitored, driving on free gear will be a thing of the past. This will substantially reduce cases of accidents.”

“The system is a plus on our road safety as it will reduce the number of road accidents,” he says.

“Reduced fuel siphoning will therefore be a win-win situation for investors, road users and the government.”

Mr Njuguna urges local innovators to come up with innovations that offer tailor-made solutions to the challenges the region faces and shift from “depending on foreign innovations for local solutions”.

“With safer roads and better-managed fleet, we will contribute positively to restore sanity on the roads as well as cut costs for transporters,” he said.

Since entering the transport sector, Mr Njuguna says his, company PGL Speed Limiters has scooped several awards including Top 100 SME, Most Preferred Digital speed limiter from the automotive industry awards, and Best Digital speed limiter from the Digital Tech Excellence Awards. Being ISO certified the entrepreneur says that the company has invested in proper systems.

“While some may view the investments as a means for minting money, the objective of restoring sanity on the roads by saving lives is paramount”, says Mr Njuguna.