Technology

How duo plans to cut road accidents with speed gadget

mukunga

Innovators Colin Mundia (right) and Patrick Mukunga explain how their speedometer works in Nyeri. PHOTO | IRENE MUGO

As accidents on Kenyan roads continue to claim lives, two innovators have come up with a technology that seeks to reverse this unfortunate trend.

The innovation dubbed Speed Master is designed to caution drivers against impending hazards on the road.

The innovators, Colin Mundia and Patrick Mukunga said the gadget warns drivers of lurking dangers ahead, such as accidents, black spots, bumps and road diversions, through an automated voice that helps them exercise caution.

“The Speed Master system is a major upgrade from the conventional speed governors as it incorporates artificial intelligence,” Mr Mundia said.

The gadget mainly uses data input and google maps, which give information on the roads with data collected using GPS satellite.

Mr Mundia said unlike the normal speed governors which are permanently set at 80kph, the Speed Master keeps adjusting the speed limit based on location.

Mr Mundia, a Bachelor of Commerce graduate from Strathmore University quit his retail support job at Safaricom to focus on technology while Mr Mukunga is an electrical and electronics graduate from Dedan Kimathi University in Nyeri.

While on the highway a car’s speed limit may rise to 110kph, when it approaches or at an urban centre, the speed automatically falls to 50kph.

“The normal speed governors do not take that into account meaning one might find a lorry cruising at 80kph in an urban centre since it is within the speed limit allowed by the speed governor. This endangers lives,” said Mr Mukunga.

The Speed Master monitors the speed of the vehicles across all road, round the clock. This is unlike a situation where the police install speed guns in a few spots on major roads to trap vehicles exceeding speed limits during the day.

“Drivers that breach the speed limit regardless of their location will be warned by the system, and should they fail to oblige to the caution, the system will notify authorities and fine them on the spot,” he added.

Offenders can pay their fines through M-Pesa and other mobile money platforms within a certain grace period.

Offending drivers will not have to face a police officer or waste a whole day in court since the fine will be paid at the driver’s convenience.

“With the prompt fine payment, there will be no chance to bribe police officers for traffic offences, meaning the government will be collecting all the fines bringing a relief to the Judiciary as the traffic-related cases will reduce,” noted Mr Mundia.

The developers also anticipate that insurance premiums will come down since there will be fewer accident claims, “which will be a win-win situation for both the vehicle owners and the insurance companies”.

“The system will be capable of managing insurance covers such that there will be no need to stick the covers on the windscreens. But if a vehicle is on the road and the insurance is invalid, the driver is warned or fined automatically,” he added.