The idea contest titled ‘Roojai.com’s Road to The Future’campaign invited university students from across Thailand to propose how technology can be used to reduce road traffic incidents and improve Thailand’s status as one of the world’s most dangerous driving environments together with the aim of bringing fresh ideas on how to drive more safely while embracing the objectives of Thailand’s 4.0 national digital initiative.
The selected idea under the name ‘Knows Well’ was presented by three members of ‘Easy Normal’ team, from Phuket Rajabhat University: Mr Koonnatham Kengkaew, Miss Nitiya Thipthapthai, and Mr Eua-angkul Khwansrisut. All three are second-year students majoring in Faculty of Management Science.
After reviewing accident reports, the team found that road conditions such as potholes, roadside debris, drainage grates, and other such obstacles, are a leading cause of accidents. The team proposed a solution by affixing a smart camera with artificial intelligence which would evaluate the terrain and warn the driver of the upcoming conditions in advance to reduce the speed and take evasive manoeuvres.
New Media Creativity lecturer for Communication Arts course, PhD Suthasinee Nirattimanon, explained that she presented her students’ idea to this competition, as it related to the course.
“I submitted all ideas from the ten student teams in my class, and one was selected to be among the ten finalists. I want my students to apply what they have learned towards inventing new products or even just to develop existing concepts,” she said.
Additionally, the finalists were selected to attend a workshop earlier this month (Jan 11-12) at Roojai.com’s head office in Sriracha, Chonburi and take part in the road safety lecture conducted by the Department of Highways. They were able to learn and develop their ideas with public and private sector industry professionals from the Department of Highway, G-Able; ION Go developer and Toyota Tsusho Nexty Electronics, the good driving behaviour app and staff of G-Able Co Ltd, which created iON Go application, and future technology for cars by Toyota Tsusho Co Ltd.
Each group of students presented their final work and were assessed by these experts. The criteria included creativity, practicality and effectiveness of their ideas and solutions, as well as their presentation quality and teamwork. Winners were awarded B100,000 for first place, B50,000 for second place, and B30,000 for third place, along with the opportunity to have their idea developed with the support from Roojai.com.
Awards were given on Sunday (Jan 12). Camlife team from Prince of Songkla University placed first receiving the B100,000. In second place was The Blank team of Mahidol University, receiving B50,000, and in third place was VoodooCam team from Bangkok University, winning B30,000 respectively.
Professor Nirattimanon said of her students, “Even if they didn’t win, I’m so proud of my students to be selected as the top ten among the 42 creative ideas presented from every part of the country. It could be great if someone can make their idea happen” she explained.
Roojai.com founder and CEO Nicholas Faquet explained his company is very focused on improving road safety in Thailand and thus the objective of this competition is to raise awareness of road safety and to encourage young people in academia to solve these problems together.
According to the WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018, road traffic deaths in Thailand ranked 9th in the world, ranking the highest in ASEAN for traffic death rate, with 32.7 deaths every 100,000 people. Road traffic injury is now the leading cause of death for children and young adults.
Mr Faquet said, “Road safety is our priority and Roojai.com would like to play our part in reducing accidents and making roadways safer for people. It’s inspiring to see young people create solutions that are useful for their communities. In addition, we are grateful to the experts who take the time to join and share useful information.”
“The contest goals are to find the best ideas and solutions to make the roads safer and an opportunity for us to find new talents. In addition, we would like to create a platform for Thai students to show their skills and to raise awareness of road safety for young generations,” said Mr Faquet.
Mr Faquet further explained that Roojai.com, being a car insurance operator, has a vested interest in road safety and seeks to reduce the number of car accidents to make Thai roads safer for all motorists, and was quite pleased to see the number of young people who came together to work on road safety solutions.