Universities are usually the hotbed of innovation in countries all over the world. We have seen great products come out of universities and it is proving to be the same in Kenya.
Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, a public university in Nyeri has announced that they have designed a ‘one of a kind speed governor’. Speed governors are used to make sure that a car moves at a designated speed. The technology became popular in Kenya a while ago with the Michuki rules which limited public service vehicles to 80km/hr.
The speed governor was developed by a team comprising of students from Computer Science, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering and Electrical & Electronic Engineering under the guidance of the universities “technologists in engineering.”
The university’s speed governor that is named BlakkBoxx has a number of interesting features.
- It has GPS and GPRS modules to provide information about the location of the vehicle.
- The vehicle speed and location data is transmitted at an interval of 5 seconds to a server and an on-board recorder. The on-board data can be printed at an inspection point by use of a thermal printer while the off-board data can be downloaded from the server.
- If it is disconnected, the car goes to ‘limp mode’ where it will not be possible to drive the car in excess of 40km/hr.
- If the governor is tampered with, relevant authorities get notified indicating the nature of tampering.
The university claims that BlakkBoxx has been tested and passed by the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the Chief Mechanical Engineer Transport and the NTSA so that is a good thing. However, they didn’t mention anything about when it will be deployed to the mass market.
This is not the first time we have seen Kenyan universities dabble with technology. JKUAT had their Taifa laptop program and Moi University assembled tablets that were used in the census.