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New Delhi, August 7, 2020
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi to set up a Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Use of Artificial Intelligence in Data-Driven Decision-Making and Advance Data Management System for Highways.
The MoU was signed in the presence of NHAI Chairperson Sukhbir Singh Sandhu and IIT Delhi Director V Ram Gopal Rao.
Under the partnership, IIT Delhi will work with NHAI on developing advance analytics based on AI and Machine Learning (ML), prepare simulation models, and enhance data storage and retrieval capacities to further strengthen NHAI’s capabilities in data-driven decision making.
The collaboration will be undertaken on the identified thrust areas including Project Management and Data Management, Highway Network Traffic Demand and Incident Management, Highway Safety, Highway Work-zone Management and Highway Pavement Management System. IIT Delhi will also give inputs for NHAI data management policy.
As a part of the arrangement, IIT Delhi will provide the space and infrastructural facility support to house the CoE along with providing scientific and technical expertise to extend research facilities at par with academic activities of the Institute.
Efforts will also be made to attract students and research scholars for setting up start-ups and incubators on different transportation and highways related research solutions. NHAI, on the other hand, will provide critical data support and necessary access to its information resources including the data software, ‘Data Lake’. NHAI will also extend the required financial support to carry out research and various activities at the proposed CoE.
The operations at the CoE will be governed and managed by a two-tier management structure. An advisory board will be the highest-level committee mentoring the activities of the collaborative platform including initiation, continuation of work, approval of joint collaborative projects and suggest mechanisms to achieve the desired objectives.
It will also monitor the activities being undertaken and review the overall progress. At the 2nd tier, a Coordination Committee will be constituted for overall and timely progress. This Committee will be chaired by the Dean R&D, IIT Delhi and co-chaired by a senior official from the NHAI. It will have expert members from academic & research institutes. A Professor will also be appointed as a coordinator of the centre by the IIT Delhi.
This arrangement will be for five years and is expected to develop highly effective digitized systems for the NHAI. The advanced AI-based Data Analytics of highways and traffic pattern at CoE will facilitate in data-driven decision making at the national level, an official release said.