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The public transport sector in India has been rapidly evolving over the years, with millions of people relying on it to commute daily. As the demand for public transport continues to grow, the government has taken several measures to address congestion and safety issues within the sector. One such measure is the mandatory requirement of AIS 140 certification for all public vehicles, except for three-wheelers and e-rickshaws.

What is AIS 140?

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) oversees automotive regulations in India and serves as the nodal ministry for the automotive sector. These regulations are governed by the Automotive Industry Standards (AIS), which are based on norms established by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The AIS guidelines are developed by the Automotive Industry Standard Committee (AISC), then amended and approved by MoRTH before being published by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). These standards aim to promote road safety and establish an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) in India and apply to commercial vehicles and public transportation vehicles in India.

AIS 140 compliant devices utilize the Global Positioning System (GPS), Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), and GSM (General Packet Radio Service) modem for vehicle tracking. Additionally, they may include provisions for hybrid navigation constellations such as GLONASS and Galileo.

Significance of AIS 140

AIS 140 standards integrate globally recognized ITS, optimizing infrastructure and enhancing safety, comfort, and efficiency. The MoRTH issued a directive mandating the implementation of AIS 140 from January 1, 2019, for the registration of all new commercial and public vehicles. According to AIS 140, all Commercial and Public Transport vehicles should have the ability to transmit real-time location and other vehicle performance information. Additionally, they should consist of one or more emergency buttons across the vehicle.

Evolution of AIS 140 Standards

The AIS 140 mandate, which encompasses guidelines for vehicle safety and tracking systems, has undergone significant developments over the years to enhance road safety. Here is a timeline of key milestones:

  • 1989: The requirement to install emergency buttons in all vehicles was introduced, marking the initial step towards improved safety measures.
  • 2018: The AIS 140 guidelines became mandatory for public transportation buses, aiming to standardize safety protocols across the public transport sector.
  • 2019: The AIS 140 standards were extended to cover the entire public transport sector, ensuring uniformity in safety standards.
  • 2022: Recognizing the importance of AIS 140 in the commercial sector, the government mandated its implementation for all N2 and N3 vehicles, as well as vehicles transporting hazardous goods. Manufacturers were required to integrate GPS devices into new vehicle models by September 2022, with existing models required to comply by January 2023.

These developments highlight the government’s commitment to leveraging technology to enhance road safety and ensure compliance with standardized regulations across various vehicle categories.

Key AIS 140 Regulations for Hardware

Key regulations outlined in AIS 140 standards pertain to the hardware component of transportation systems. These regulations are crucial for ensuring compliance and safety standards within the transportation industry. The key regulations include:

  • GPS Tracker Requirement:¬†Vehicles are required to use GNSS trackers to transmit information, instead of relying on cellular data or SIM cards. This ensures precise and dependable data collection, which is essential for effective tracking and monitoring. The device should have the ability to retrieve information via the Global Navigation Satellite System, and should also support GPS-aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN), the Indian satellite-based augmentation system.
  • Backup Battery Specification: GPS tracking devices installed in vehicles should be equipped with a backup battery capable of lasting at least 4 hours. This ensures uninterrupted functionality, even in situations where the primary power source is unavailable.
  • Emergency Button Mandate: Each vehicle must be equipped with an emergency button system designed to send essential data, such as the vehicle’s location, to two designated IP addresses. These addresses typically include a government database and an emergency support system, enabling swift response in critical situations.
  • Security and Tamper-Proofing: GPS tracking devices must feature robust security measures to prevent tampering and unauthorized access. This ensures the integrity of the data entered into the database, enhancing overall system reliability and accuracy.

Key AIS 140 Regulations for Software

Key regulations outlined in AIS 140 standards extend to the software aspect of GPS tracking systems, dictating specific requirements to ensure optimal functionality. These regulations include:

  • Compatibility Consideration: Software selected for tracking AIS 140-certified GPS devices must prioritize compatibility. It should seamlessly integrate with the designated trackers to facilitate efficient data collection and management.
  • Enhanced Tracking Capabilities: Beyond basic location tracking, the chosen software should offer comprehensive features. This includes maintaining detailed records of vehicle performance metrics, maintenance schedules, and other relevant data points to facilitate informed decision-making.
  • Emergency Alert Mechanism: System managers must receive emergency alerts promptly to address potential safety concerns. In situations where internet connectivity is unavailable, the software should have the capability to send alerts via SMS, ensuring timely notifications and responses.

Key AIS 140 Regulations for Server

AIS 140 regulations for server compliance necessitate adherence to specific standards to ensure efficient storage and management of data collected by GPS devices. These standards are instrumental in enhancing fleet operations’ safety and precision. Important regulations include:

  • Adequate Storage Capacity: The system utilized alongside GPS trackers must possess sufficient storage capacity. It should retain vehicle data for a minimum of 90 days post-event, ensuring comprehensive data availability for analysis and review.
  • Document Verification: Before granting access, vehicle and driver documents must undergo verification. This verification process adds an additional layer of security, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information stored within the system.

Key Features of AIS 140-Compliant Devices

AIS 140 devices offer advanced features, including:

  1. Global Navigation Satellite System Tracking
  2. Emergency Button(s)
  3. Dual IP Addresses
  4. Internal Battery Backup
  5. Accelerometer and Gyroscope
  6. Embedded SIM and Tamper-proof Design
  7. Differentiation from Standard GPS Devices

Advantages of AIS 140 Standards

The implementation of the AIS 140 regulations brings about transformative changes in vehicle operations and road safety. While some fleet businesses may face initial challenges in meeting the mandated criteria, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks:

  • Increased Demand for GPS: The widespread adoption of AIS 140 guidelines leads to a surge in demand for GPS devices and software. This results in a higher number of connected vehicles on the roads, making the goal of having 55% of commercial trucks connected by 2025 more attainable.
  • Enhanced Safety: The integration of emergency SoS buttons in public transportation vehicles reduces the risk of fatalities in accidents. Moreover, with vehicle maintenance and GPS tracking, overall accident rates decrease. Studies indicate that fleets using GPS tracking experience a significant reduction of up to 42% in accidents.
  • Improved Visibility: Managing a large fleet becomes more manageable with GPS tracking. Fleet managers gain better insight into the location and activities of each vehicle, facilitating more effective supervision and coordination.
  • Optimization: AIS 140 regulations emphasize vehicle health maintenance and safe driving practices. This encourages fleet operators to focus on comprehensive optimization strategies rather than solely tracking vehicle locations.
  • Driver Accountability: Continuous monitoring encourages drivers to adhere to traffic laws, leading to fewer accidents and traffic violations.
  • Efficient Fleet Management: Government fleet managers leverage vehicle tracking systems for efficient maintenance scheduling and route planning, optimizing fleet operations.
  • Route Optimization: AIS 140-compliant systems empower drivers to select the most efficient routes, ensuring timely arrivals and reducing fuel consumption.
  • Tamper Alerts: The telematics device triggers an alert on the dashboard if any attempt is made to tamper with the vehicle tracking device.

Vehicles Mandated to Equip AIS 140 Certified Tracking Devices

It is mandatory for all public service vehicles, irrespective of whether they are run by governmental or private entities, to have tracking devices that are certified by AIS 140. This rule applies to different categories of vehicles including inner-city public transport vehicles, school buses, employee transportation buses/cabs, inter-city public transport vehicles, and others.

Standard Tracking Device vs Device Equipped with AIS 140

The AIS 140 tracking device differs from standard tracking devices primarily in its ability to transmit location data to multiple servers simultaneously. While a standard GPS device typically notifies the vehicle’s location to a single server, an AIS 140 GPS device can send out the whereabouts to three servers concurrently. These servers may include the institution’s server, an SOS server utilized by the police, and the Government Command and Control Centre.

AIS 140 Non-Compliance Consequences

Failure to have AIS 140 tracking enabled for vehicles can result in significant consequences. These may include:

  • Legal Violations: Non-compliance with AIS 140 regulations may lead to legal repercussions, fines, and penalties imposed by regulatory authorities.
  • Transport Permit Revocation: Authorities may revoke the transport permit for vehicles found to be non-compliant with AIS 140 tracking requirements.
  • Safety Concerns: Without AIS 140 tracking, vehicles may lack essential safety features such as real-time monitoring and emergency alert systems, compromising passenger safety.
  • Operational Disruptions: Vehicles without AIS 140 tracking may face operational disruptions, such as restrictions on vehicle usage or limitations on accessing certain routes or areas.
  • Reputation Damage: Companies or organizations operating vehicles without AIS 140 tracking may suffer reputational damage due to concerns about safety standards and regulatory compliance.
  • Increased Risk: Vehicles without AIS 140 tracking are at a higher risk of theft, misuse, or unauthorized use, leading to potential financial losses and liabilities.

Conclusion

AIS 140 certification marks a significant step towards safer, more efficient public transportation in India. By embracing these standards, the nation is poised to revolutionize its transportation infrastructure, ensuring enhanced safety and convenience for all passengers.

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