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Meet the Founder Building AI for Driver Safety: Nisarg Pandya, CEO DrivebuddyAI

  • Aditya 
  • 6 min read
Meet the Founder Building AI for Driver Safety: Nisarg Pandya, CEO DrivebuddyAI

Road safety has become a pressing concern, with an alarming number of accidents occurring daily due to human error. Recognizing this challenge, Nisarg Pandya, a passionate entrepreneur from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, has embarked on a mission to enhance driver safety through his innovative startup, drivebuddyAI.

During my insightful conversation, Nisarg shared his journey, shedding light on the inspiration behind drivebuddyAI and the cutting-edge technology driving its success.

The Roots of Innovation

Nisarg’s background in electronics and communication engineering, coupled with his master’s degree in embedded systems and VLSI, laid the foundation for his entrepreneurial endeavor. His early career experiences at product companies, where he developed firmware for GPS tracking solutions for school buses, provided him with invaluable insights into the challenges and intricacies of building and deploying products in the real world.

“Working in a product company, you get to experience the entire lifecycle – from building the product to shipping it, and then addressing issues that arise in the field,”Nisarg explained.”It ultimately made me learn all the aspects of building a product and a startup, as it’s not just about having a good idea but also understanding the surrounding factors that determine its success.”

Identifying the Real Problem

One of the key lessons Nisarg learned early on was the importance of identifying and solving real problems. “There’s a lot of debate happening nowadays about whether certain problems are real or just made-up,” he said, referring to the recent discussions around the necessity of quick commerce services in India.

One of Nisarg’s key learnings was the importance of validating an idea before investing significant time and resources. He diligently studied existing products in the market, scouring platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to ensure his concept was truly unique and addressing a real problem.

“It cannot be possible that whatever you’re thinking about solving a problem is not available or nobody else is solving it,” Nisarg explained. “If nobody’s thinking about this, then there is something wrong.”

For Nisarg, the problem of road safety was undeniably real, and he recognized the urgent need for a solution.

“When we talk about road safety, the problem is genuine,” he asserted. “Around 84% of total accidents happening around the world are due to a few seconds of human driver error or a minor mistake.”

The Birth of DrivebuddyAI

Driven by this realization, Nisarg embarked on a journey to develop a solution that could address the root cause of these accidents – human error. With a modest setup consisting of a camera mounted behind the rearview mirror and a few scale clips, he began experimenting with the idea of an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) that could monitor driver behavior and provide real-time alerts.

Seat belt monitoring technology by DrivebuddyAI
Seat – Belt Monitoring by DrivebuddyAI Device

“We started building DrivebuddyAI as a product of ADAS,” Nisarg explained. “It’s an after-market solution that we’re selling, designed to assist drivers and improve their safety on the roads.”

The system utilizes cutting-edge computer vision and artificial intelligence algorithms to process video feeds from cameras, analyzing driver behavior and detecting potential hazards. It can alert drivers in real-time when they exhibit signs of distraction, drowsiness, or unsafe driving practices, such as not wearing a seatbelt or taking their eyes off the road for extended periods.

Face detection in a moving vehicle in intense sunlight by DrivebuddyAI device
Face Detection in a Moving Vehicle with drivebuddyAI Device

The Power of Perseverance

Nisarg’s journey was not without its challenges, but his unwavering determination kept him going.

“It’s about patience, passion, and perseverance,” he said, echoing the famous quote from the TV show “TVF Pitchers” “You keep kicking, and eventually, some light will glow, and you’ll see small successes that build up your confidence to go further.”.

One of the significant hurdles Nisarg faced was finding the time to work on his startup while juggling a full-time job. However, he found creative ways to make progress, even if it meant working on prototypes and rough ideas during his free time.

“When I started, I was in Ahmedabad, which was still lagging behind in terms of the startup ecosystem,” Nisarg recalled. “I visited startup fests and expos in cities like Bangalore, Delhi, and Pune to understand the level of startups and learn from others.”

The Future of Road Safety

As DrivebuddyAI continues to gain traction, Nisarg envisions a future where ADAS technology becomes a standard feature in vehicles, much like the emphasis on mileage and safety ratings today. He believes that making such systems compulsory could significantly reduce the number of road accidents caused by human error, ultimately saving countless lives.

“A lot of these kinds of things should be compulsory because in India, there are so many road accidents that happen due to driver error,” Nisarg said. “If this kind of AI system is installed, it’s going to help drivers correct themselves and improve their behavior on the roads.”

Moreover, Nisarg recognizes the importance of addressing the broader issues surrounding driver welfare, such as improving salaries and working conditions.

“The business can pay drivers more if they’re making money,” he explained. “But for that, the overall behavior of drivers also needs to improve.”

Lessons for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Throughout our conversation, Nisarg shared valuable insights and lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“If you can’t sell your startup or idea to anybody or any individual person and if you’re not able to inspire one person to join you to work with you, then how are you going to convince customers to pay you?” Nisarg reflected.

One of the key takeaways was the importance of building a personal brand and establishing credibility in the early stages of a startup.

“In the beginning, your company name may not matter as much as your personal name,” Nisarg advised. “People will buy your product because they know and trust you, not just because of the company name.”

He also emphasized the significance of seeking feedback and learning from both criticism and praise.

“Go out in the market and meet hundreds of people,” he said. “Some will criticize you, and others will praise you, but you have to take learning from everyone and move on.”

Future Plans of DrivebuddyAI

Moving forward, they have ambitious plans for growth and expansion. Nisarg aims to collaborate with automotive manufacturers to integrate our ADAS technology into new vehicles, making advanced driver assistance systems more accessible and affordable for the masses.

Additionally, he is also exploring partnerships with insurance companies to introduce usage-based insurance models, where premiums are calculated based on driving behavior and risk profiles. This approach not only incentivizes safer driving practices but also aligns with our mission of promoting road safety.

With entrepreneurs like Nisarg Pandya at the helm, we can look forward to a world where accidents caused by human error are significantly reduced, and lives are protected on every journey.

You can check out the whole podcast below.

Meet the Founder Building AI for Driver Safety: Nisarg Pandya, CEO DrivebuddyAI | EP 1 Moneymint
Aditya Farrad

Aditya Farrad

Aditya is a seasoned business expert and the founder of Moneymint. He became a self-made millionaire at a young age thanks to his various online businesses. With years of experience running his own successful businesses, Aditya understands the unique challenges and opportunities that come with entrepreneurship.

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