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Startup Story – How Anukai is tackling the growing issue of road traffic congestion

Let's uncover the story behind Anukai, a startup by Gaurav and Nitish Goyal helping to reduce road congestion across the coun
Let’s uncover the story behind Anukai, a startup by Gaurav and Nitish Goyal helping to reduce road congestion across the country.

The Founders

Gaurav Goyal - Anukai Founder & CEO
Gaurav Goyal – Anukai Founder & CEO

Gaurav Goyal, founder & CEO of Anukai Solutions, is a deep learning enthusiast who loves to dig solutions for real-life problems. Based out of Patiala, Punjab, he has done his Masters in Computer Science & Engineering from Chitkara University, Punjab. Furthermore, Gaurav has four SCI Journal Publications. His research background helps him to develop solutions that have a strong foundation.

Nitish Goyal - Anukai Co-Founder & CTO
Nitish Goyal – Anukai Co-Founder & CTO

Nitish Goyal (Co-Founder & CTO of Anukai Solutions), is a solution architect and technology geek. Made his career in VMware, he can architect and develop robust, scalable cloud-ready and cloud-native solutions with best cost optimizations. He is based out of Chandigarh and has completed his graduation in Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Chitkara University, Punjab.

What is Anukai?

Anukai - The Team
Anukai – The Team

Anukai works in the domain of Urban Mobility for Smart Cities and provides “Integrated Traffic Management & Road Infrastructure planning” solutions that not only help to decongest traffic but also offer high quality & real-time traffic movement insights to potential businesses.

Check out the website for Anukai here.

The idea and inspiration behind Anukai

Globally, road traffic congestion has resulted in significant economic and productivity loss, as well as an increased environmental impact. As per research, traffic jams in 4 metros (Delhi, Banglore, Mumbai & Kolkata) costs more than the entire Rail budget of the Indian economy. The traffic in Delhi costs $9.6 billion, which is about 12% of the GDP, while the peak-hour congestion is 129%. In Mumbai, the cost is $4.48 billion, and the congestion is 135%, in Bangalore, the cost is $5.92 billion, and the congestion is 162%. The highest level of peak-hour congestion is in Kolkata, with 171% even as the cost is lowest at $1.97 billion.

Conventional traffic light system utilizes static signaling timers at intersections and does not provide priority to emergency vehicles such as ambulances, firefighters, and police cars, possibly causing a loss of lives, damage or destruction of property, and increased fuel costs, pollution, and congestion.

Furthermore, building cities of the future requires effective planning & decision making, which in turn needs data. Presently there are no effective systems in place that could provide data required. Road infrastructure planning is one such area which requires extensive planning & data to act upon.

To tackle this problem, team Anukai has created InteLights – an “Edge based, deep learning powered”, Intelligent Traffic Management System that uses existing CCTV cameras, cutting-edge communication and processing technologies, optically isolated MOSFET switching and appropriate Machine Learning algorithms(in house trained Convolutional Neural Networks for traffic density estimation) to control and prioritize the traffic signals based on the current intensity of traffic at each lane of an intersection.

With InteLights, a dynamic signal controlling and coordination mechanism is provided that reduces AWT (Average Wait Time) of vehicles at intersections. This, in turn, reduces the amount of harmful gases released from vehicles and also lowers the consumption of fuel being burned by these vehicles standing idle at an intersection.

According to the team, the reason for tackling this problem was such a common problem like this had solutions with loads of shortcomings with no new development happening in this area. Almost everyone one of us, some or the other day, has experienced being stuck in a traffic jam for long hours, cursing the road infrastructure, and getting time wasted. Not only this, but the jams created also lead to a decrease in air quality over the course of time and an increase in fuel consumption.

Challenges faced by the team

During the interview with TimesNext, Nitish told us that initially, one of the challenges they faced was to get the right government contact. InteLights can be adopted at any place where there is a need to relieve traffic congestion. Their customers are the authorities who govern the infrastructure of the area in which installation of InteLights is required, for example, State or Central Government, Municipal Corporations, Traffic Departments, Smart City Project Managers, Local Panchayat committees, etc. But finding the right contact who can connect them with the government authorities is quite tedious.

Later on, as the reachability of our product increased in different regions of the country, due to a small team, our ground coverage became challenging.

Partnerships and Collaborations

Anukai has partnered with various Traffic departments and has scored a POC in their respective regions. Till now, the team has been able to get opportunities in three regions – Mohali (Punjab), Cyberabad (Hyderabad), Ludhiana (Punjab). And with each new opportunity, they got experience in what actually the customers want, and accordingly, the team shaped their product to bring out its potential to fullest.

Anukai – First Milestone and the Current Growth

During the interview, Gaurav revealed that their first milestone was achieved when they were able to successfully deploy the very first node of InteLIghts on one interaction in Mohali, Punjab.

Currently, Anukai is at a growing stage where the team has raised an investment from Pre-Series Funding and will be completing installations of 8 nodes in Ludhiana, Punjab. They also have secured a pilot opportunity from Cyberabad, which they plan to finish in Q3 2020 and install a minimum of 15 nodes in Cyberabad at the end of 2020. Currently, Anukai is a small team of 6 members and plan to expand the family in the coming weeks.

Anukai – The Vision

Anukai is coined from the word – ‘Anunnaki’, which was a group of deities who appear in the mythological traditions of the ancient Sumerians. Just like these deities brought a drastic change to our world, the team at Anukai thrive on bringing a change by solving real-world problems via Artificial Intelligence powered solutions that are exceedingly “Accurate”, “Appropriate” and “Affordable”.