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IIT Madras launches ‘Mobility and Intelligent Transportation’ (MInT) collaborative towards building a global mobility digital infrastructure

By   /  April 5, 2024  /  Comments Off on IIT Madras launches ‘Mobility and Intelligent Transportation’ (MInT) collaborative towards building a global mobility digital infrastructure

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CHENNAI : Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has launched the ‘Mobility and Intelligent Transportation’ (MInT) (https://www.themint.space/) collaborative towards building a global mobility digital infrastructure.

Shri Neeraj Mittal IAS, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, virtually launched the Collaborative during an event at IIT Madras campus today (4th April 2024).

This initiative is based on the principle of “collaborate and compete” under which the Institute will bring together industry competitors, government agencies and academic innovators and co-create the mobility digital infrastructure (Bharat Multi-Modal Mobility Stack or BM3S) to enable holistic system solutions.

MInT is a global initiative to build mobility digital infrastructure and an R&D portfolio besides developing a skilled workforce to develop breakthrough mobility solutions to realize the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as

Ø  Sustainable Transport (11.2): 50% reduction in total transport emissions

Ø  Accident Prevention (3.6): 50% reduction in fatalities

Ø  Energy Efficiency (7.3): 50% of all transport from net zero modes

The launch event was held at the campus today (4th April 2024) during the Inaugural Mobility Summit in the presence of Shri Neeraj Mittal IAS, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, and Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, other government officers, faculty, industry professionals, researchers and students.

Addressing the launch event virtually, Chief Guest Shri Neeraj Mittal IAS, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, said, “This initiative is appropriate because our country is passing through a phase where it can define new frontiers. It can change the way our citizens live the next decade and the decade thereafter is going to be very defining for India and its citizens. This initiative is very critical for our well-being and sustainable future. I congratulate IIT Madras faculty and MInT’s founding members for taking up this initiative as without collaboration, such a complex problem cannot be tackled or even thought through.”

Shri Neeraj Mittal IAS added, “The changes of recent times such as availability of digital data, very low computing costs, computing at scale and the rapid evolution of AI are some of the defining characteristics of what we can do differently. It has made the frontiers of what we could not even imagine or think before, possible today. Solving such large probelms of how vehicles can possibly talk to each other rather than humans and coordinating is something that is really fascinating.”

Further, Shri Neeraj Mittal IAS said, “Telecommunication is a basic infrastructure which will support all these innovations. The evolution and the fast roll out of 5G technology is evidence that India has the capacity to do so. India rolled 5G in one of the fastest times in the world, possibly in just one year. You can see the improvement in speed in many areas. Our median speed, which used to be 1.8 Mbps in 2014, has reached somewhere around 50 Mbps. The cost of data is 1/10th to 1/20th of most advanced nations. The density of smartphones has also increased significantly. The upcoming 6G technologies, which are going to integrate sensing, quantum computing will really open this opportunity for all of us to work and hand over this world and India to the future generations in a sustainable manner.”

The Inaugural Mobility Summit is being held on 4th and 5th April 2024. Thought leaders from the government, industry and academia are engaging the participants in thinking deeply about the mobility challenges, future vision and digital solutions for both India and the world.

Congratulating the faculty from the Transportation Group and of the Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Madras, who have championed this initiative, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, said, “Mint is an essential first step to understanding this very ‘traffic jammed’ world of mobility. There is a lot to be done. India is a growing country. The rate at which we add mobility needs is just unbelievable both in terms of cargo and people’s desire to move as well as just the quantum of the vehicles that are now being added to the roads every day. Add to all this, our desire to make it more safe, convenient for an increasing population of riders, requires technology to be the bright spot that will make this dream happe for a billion people.  ”

IIT Madras will anchor the MInT Collaborative with its world-leading technological and human resources in numerous fields. Mobility is a key example where a meeting of diverse minds is essential to finding holistic solutions that enhance positive outcomes while minimizing or even eliminating possible negative externalities.

Highlighting the importance and scale of the initiative, Dr. Ramakrishna Srinivasan, the CEO, MInT Collaborative, said, “This initiative is the beginning of the exciting technology journey to bring to life the ‘Mobility Dreams for a Billion’. Mobility – safe, and efficient movement of people and goods – is the backbone of the modern economy. Digital infrastructure complements and optimizes the physical infrastructure and is an innovation engine to advance future mobility.”

Elaborating about the initiative, Prof. Gitakrishnan Ramadurai, Faculty In-Charge, MInT, IIT Madras said, “Seamless, equitable, and affordable mobility for all through digital public infrastructure is our main goal. This requires all stakeholders to work together and the collaborative will be the catalyst for this transformation.”

The Bharat Multi-Modal Mobility Stack is a digital platform to foster the “Build for India, Solve for the World” Goals. It defines mobility as a digital public good and serves as a benchmark for standardizing, developing and deploying mobility tools and services for everyone.

BM3S is designed to encompass all dimensions of mobility at the grassroots level covering the following broad areas:

Ø  Standards and infrastructure development

Ø  Multi-modal connectivity

Ø  Advanced vehicle technologies

Ø  Enhanced user experience

BACKGROUND FOR THE INITIATIVE

The future of mobility is fast transforming due to remarkable advances in technology across several areas driving the acceleration of electric vehicles, autonomous driving and intelligent transportation systems.

Digital infrastructure, which complements and optimizes the physical infrastructure, will be the innovation engine to advance future mobility. Digital infrastructure connects all aspects of mobility ecosystem including data streams, payment mechanisms, vehicle technology stacks, multi-modal passenger and freight networks and digital twin models.

Such a framework is critical for any nation to move forward with its mobility growth in a safe, sustainable and equitable manner. This would be a digital public good.

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