LETTER | We refer to a letter Plus should also explore drones for road safety.
Plus Malaysia Berhad (Plus) would like to thank the writer for his suggestion on the use of drone technology to patrol the highways. In fact, we welcome any suggestions to make the highway safer.
On the use of drones, we wish to highlight that Plus currently uses drones for slope maintenance on our highway. The drones are used to carry out visual inspections and capture images of more than 6,000 slopes along the highway as the current aviation regulation warrants the use of drone only within line of sight. This means the drones must be flown within the line of sight although it can be programmed with global GPS coordinates for automatic flight.
Based on our research, current commercial grade drones are unable to fly up and down to our approximately 1,000 kilometre stretch of the highway due to current battery limitation.
Therefore, to circumvent the limitations, we are currently investing in video analytics technology by retrofitting the existing 1,040 surveillance CCTV cameras along the highway and at all the Rest & Service Areas to make the highway safer.
These cameras are currently being upgraded to support video analytics with machine learning capability to automatically detect traffic and abnormal situational scenarios along the highway and the rest and service areas. As such, we are in the opinion that the use of video analytics is a better option as it is a permanent feature, complete with 24/7, 365-day recordings.
Plus takes the safety of our customers seriously where various and continuous approaches and initiatives are in place to make the highway safer such as the 3E approach, encompassing Enforcement, Education and Engineering.
Engineering touches on continuous application of the latest technologies and road safety standards on the highway most notably at accident-prone areas or ’blackspots’ such as pavement upgrades, new and improved road safety furniture and the video analytics technology, to name a few.
Enforcement looks at continuous collaboration with the relevant enforcement agencies such as the police and the RTD for joint operations such as ‘Ops Bersepadu’, 'Ops Halangan’ and numerous others to summon traffic violators along the highway. As of April 2019, we have conducted 70 joint operations with these enforcement agencies. While our enforcement powers are limited to traffic congestion management and inspections only, this collaboration enables us to ensure the safety of our customers.
Through Education, we continuously organise road safety programmes and campaigns for highway customers and fence-line communities along the highway to promote road safety awareness. One of the efforts that we are currently embarking on is a series of highway safe driving videos via our #HeroSelamat campaign. The videos can now be viewed on YouTube and Plus online channels.
The higher purpose of Plus is to take care of our customers, every step of the way. We’re gearing all our efforts towards improving our day-to-day service delivery to our customers. We’re going the extra mile to deliver the best service to everyone and at the same time, doing our level best to provide the highest quality of care at every point of their journey.
The writer is managing director, Plus.
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