Travelling by public bus will be easy breezy if this idea is implemented

Students from IIITDM, Kanchipuram, have come up with a Smart Bus Transport System that not only tracks a public bus but also enables you to book a seat on it
Sai Sravan Manne along with his team
Sai Sravan Manne along with his team

With most colleges situated in the outskirts of the main city where the entertainment lies, a weekend plan for a student would mean having to get to the city. This is the same for the students of the Indian Institute of Information Technology Design and Manufacturing (IIITDM), Kanchipuram. But public transport being scarce and unreliable, Sai Sravan Manne and his friends grew tired of relying on public transport to materialise their plans. "We found that even the locals faced the same issue too," says the 21-year-old, who conducted a five-question survey on around 300 people living within the radius of 30-40 km from their college. 

When the competition was announced, many were interested but only two teams made it to the end. Most dropped out when they were told that they would have to work on it at IIMB with an allotted fund

Sai Sravan Manne

Thus began the development stage of the Smart Bus Transport System — a sensor which is installed at the entrance of every bus that keeps count of the number of passengers, while an app keeps track of the bus and the number of seats available. What was once an idea matured into a project that was showcased at the Indian Innovation Challenge Design Contest (IICDC) 2016, conducted by Texas Instruments (TI), an American-based tech company along with IIM Bangalore. Not only were they given a platform to showcase their idea, but TI also provided components like micro-controllers, power banks and more.

For the record: Texas Instruments has been conducting IICDC for the last seven years and provides technical support and guidance throughout the challenge

But when it came to testing, the participants were on their own. "Securing permission from bus depots was time-consuming," says Sravan, who is grateful for the platform given by TI as it exposed him to a whole new world. "In college, we would come up with many ideas, but taking one to this extent is a whole new experience for me," he adds, stating that he would like to be an entrepreneur in the future. 

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