By Pramod Thomas:
Global innovations company 3M has launched in India Smart Variable Messaging Signs, a new smart mobility platform. These signs are designed to provide real-time, contextual and automated information to motorists in a simple and useful form. Information on traffic congestion and air quality, best routes, and warnings on emergency and road safety can be provided in an integrated manner to motorists to make the roads safer and less congested.
“Since its inception in India in 1988, 3M has been striving to make roads safer for motorists,” Pawan Kumar Singh, Head Transportation Safety Business, 3M India, told AutoParts Asia. “For the last 80 years, 3M Traffic Safety Solutions were at the forefront of making roads safer for motorists,” he said.
“Technology is helping both vehicles and drivers. Vehicles are today equipped with features like airbags, ABS, and traction control which automatically deploy in emergencies and protect passengers in the vehicles. Optimal on-road technologies like effective retro-reflective signage, pavement and lane markers, optimal hazard warnings, speed warnings, etc go a long way in warning drivers and ensuring safety on the road. Almost 90% of all accidents are due to driver error. Therefore, it is imperative we enhance implementation of technologies which help drivers make fast and more effective judgement while driving,” he said.
“Accident reduction has been the single goal of all our products and solutions over several decades. We provide a complete range of retro-reflective signage solutions, including our flagship diamond grade range. In India we offer our full range of road furniture products including retro-reflective pavement markers, media markers, delineators, solar-based markers, flexible sheeting, etc. We also provide vehicle marking tapes which are especially useful for trucks, trailers, and buses, and they help reduce accidents by making vehicles more visible,” Singh said.
In India, 3M, headquartered in Bengaluru, had a turnover of Rs 25,070 million by the end of March 31, 2017. It has branch offices in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Pune, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai, and employs over 1,600 people.3M leverages its global innovation expertise to develop homegrown solutions that address the unique needs of diverse customers in India.
The company has invested in Innovation Centres in Bengaluru and Gurgaon to boost local product development. Its manufacturing footprint is spread across Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad. 3M offers solutions that improve manufacturing efficiency and impact improved healthcare delivery to safety solutions that help increase road visibility, everyday kitchen aids and car care products.
3M, with its Traffic Safety Systems, has pioneered the use of retro-reflective technology in road safety, pedestrian safety and traffic management solutions to ensure safe, orderly and efficient movement of all road users and vehicles. Its high-performance materials, systems and services effectively serve motorists in today’s challenging driving conditions. The company has solutions for Road Safety, Vehicle Safety, Automatic License Plate Recognition, e-Tolling, Parking Solutions etc.
When asked about its global initiatives on road safety, Singh said, “Throughout the world, transport authorities and civic bodies look to reduce accidents and fatalities, and develop sustainable mobility solutions. Electrification of vehicles, and shift towards autonomous and driverless technologies are emerging trends. In future we need to address them. In India, emphasis is to have more motorable roads, especially in the rural areas. There should be more expressways in the cities. Their quality should be enhanced with proper maintenance. Development of Road Work Zone Safety regulations is another key requirement.”
3M, present in 70 countries, sells more than 60,000 products globally and employs around 90,000 people. Its sales exceed $30 billion. In 2014, the company got its 100,000th patent and it continues to get an average of 3,000 patents every year. Under its Safety and Graphics business, 3M provides solutions for improving performance and productivity of building operations and infrastructure, enabling transportation and traffic safety.