When in Aizawl, ​do not blow ​the ​horn!

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Stuck in traffic and getting subject to the constant blaring of horns? On the road amidst chaos and being greeted by all the noises? Honking is one of the biggest causes of noise pollution. Drivers honk while commuting to display their urgency, frustration, discontentment, and displeasure. Honking has become an extension of feelings on the road.


It is embedded in the behaviour and road traffic culture of our country. Despite various campaigns being run to avoid it, the situation has not changed in most of the Indian cities. Noise pollution can cause headaches, hypertension and various other cardiovascular diseases. In India, where the traffic movement is slow and chaotic, stress and irritability can cause hostility and even road rage. These risks are more pronounced for the citizens of Delhi-NCR and Mumbai.

A 2017 World Economic Forum report states that Delhi is the 2nd noisiest city in the world. It is followed by Cairo and Mumbai, ranking 4th on the list.[i] A recent study by Mimi Hearing Technologies GmbH- digital hearing app founders- found that “the average city dweller has a hearing loss equivalent to 10-20 years older than their actual age. Citizens of Delhi have the most, with a hearing age of 20 years older.” [ii]

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But, Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, has become the first Indian city to adopt a ‘No Honking’ policy. This is an organic citizen initiative and hasn’t been legislated or implemented by the authorities. Despite this, there has been a huge and positive response by the citizens who are responding to this change enthusiastically.

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What can we learn from this?

Noise pollution caused by incessant honking can be tackled in two ways. First and the foremost is to bring a behavioural change in the society where people consciously take the decision to shift towards no honking, as we witness in Aizawl. People respect and follow the rules and maintain traffic discipline.

However, sometimes honking becomes the necessary evil as road traffic gets bad with the excessive number of vehicles on the roads. For instance, the data collected till May 2017 from Delhi’s transport department mentions that there are 10,567,712 registered vehicles in Delhi. The majority of these vehicles are two-wheelers – 6,648,730, followed by the registered cars which are 3,172,842 in number. [iii] These statistics raise concern over the number of vehicles on roads and the ensuing noise pollution caused by them. As a result, there is a need to bring a structural change in the urban transportation.

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Shared bus mobility is the most efficient and environment-friendly way to move millions of commuters through congested cities and consequently, control the noise levels on the roads. A 2012 study by IIT Madras states that the average occupancy in buses is 20 whereas the average occupancy in cars and two-wheelers is only 2.2 and 1.2 persons, respectively. The study further mentioned that the buses are the most popular means of transport that cater to 60% of Delhi’s total demand.[iv]

Shuttl ’s app-based smart bus service is dedicated to providing shared mobility solutions to commuters. Shuttl’s bus-based model encourages a shift away from private vehicle ownership to equitable, affordable, and accessible smart mobility solutions. It also showcases the role of the private sector in contributing to and transforming the way urban commuters travel.

That is why increasing the role of shared mobility through the contributions made by both the public and private sector have the potential to make Indian cities safer and noise-free.


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[iv]http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/Article.aspx?eid=31808&articlexml=Traffic-chaos-costs-Rs-60000cr-annually-05022017005017, http://www1.m.businessinsider.in/delhites-wasted-rs-60000-crorea-year-by-standing-in-traffic/articleshow/56981744.cms


A Celebration of Technology & Innovations

Creativity and love for problem-solving are the two key ingredients of the great ideas/products. We @ Shuttl have been solving a lot of Real-World problems related to daily commute and provide our customers, a world-class experience with the best use of these ingredients. The last time we had Hackathon @ Shuttl, we found some very cleverly thought products which went to production and helped us in many ways. Lots of techies and non-techies collaborated to make, break & hack things.

Machine Learning (ML) is an old concept which is finding its real meaning these days.

Living-up to the tradition, we thought of organizing Volume-2 of the Shuttl Hackathon as the team was pretty excited to implement some crazy ideas. A whole week was spent in forming teams and brainstorming for THE idea. We noticed that many things which we used to do a short while ago, are now automated. Machine Learning (ML) is an old concept which is finding its real meaning these days. Google recently demonstrated lots of new products and service using this SciFi-ish concept. As a result, this Hackathon was flooded with ideas using ML.

All minds were riding on musical waves but, fully-focused on their problem statements.

On “the” day, the enthusiasm was on the peak and all pumped-up minds started working on their ideas. Discussions and laptop keyboard sounds filled the air and one of the participants took up the responsibility as the in-house DJ! All minds were riding on musical waves but, fully-focused on their problem statements. Some folks were so enthusiastic that they not only worked on their own idea but also helped others.


After a 24 hrs long marathon coding session, people rested with lot of awesomeness on the table. The freshness of the idea, proposed solution, and wholesome implementation were the measures for the best and it was damn difficult to say which idea was better. There were some amazing implementations around Machine Learning like Smart Mails Classifier (automatically classifies complain emails into relevant categories), Math Assistant For Dyscalculia (a learning platform for people having Math Learning Disabilities), Blind Sight (enables blind and visually impaired people to identify objects through their phone camera) etc. Shuttl Video was an implementation to enhance the in-bus experience of the user by providing some entertaining videos and also exploring the possibilities around a new form factor. Shuttl:Time provided the platform for networking with the co-passengers of the bus based on the shared interests and the proposed solution was not limited to buses. However, the center of attraction was Shuttl Keyboard developed for iOS app to show ETA or other important information while keyboard being used in other apps.


Excitement and enthusiasm of all Shuttlrs show that the Shuttl Hackathon Vol-2 repeated its past success. The implementations were so complete that most of these ideas will become reality (will go to production) soon. Technology is giving us many opportunities and such Hackathons are brilliant platforms to leverage it.

-Nitish Bhardwaj

Team Shuttl