In spite of many optimistic attempts to reduce the number of road casualties, millions of lives are still being claimed annually. According to the World Health Organization (2020), an estimated 1.35 million fatalities and 20–50 million non-fatal injuries result from automobile accidents yearly. These mishaps are often caused by human error, like insufficient focus, driving beyond the speed limit, or inadequate observation.
Safety measures, like airbags, seatbelts, and speed restrictions, have been implemented to reduce the frequency and severity of these accidents. Still, it wasn’t quite enough to make a radical change, which highlighted the need to revolutionize the way we think about transportation by using the leverage of AI technologies. From self-driving cars to cellphone apps that monitor behavior behind the wheel and reward safe drivers with perks to connected vehicles that communicate with each other and with road infrastructure., AI has enabled us to make roads safer and more efficient.
This article explores how AI is being used to create safer roads, the challenges with this technology, and the potential for the future.
The 4 E’s of roads safety
The concept of the 4 E’s of Road Safety focuses on preventing and controlling accidents through four main approaches: Education, Enforcement, Engineering, and Emergency care. There is potential to incorporate artificial intelligence into each of these areas to further improve road safety.
AI has the potential to revolutionize the way driving licenses are issued, driver’s education is provided, and the regular skill levels of drivers are assessed based on other cofactors. Furthermore, AI can detect drowsiness and alert the driver to prevent possible accidents, thus compensating for human limitations.
By using basic ML algorithms, driving behavior can be tracked and converted into Good Driving behavior by rewarding drivers for good driving behavior, with benefits such as discounted insurance premiums, fuel, vehicle repairs, tires, and even at roadside amenities. AI can also rapidly determine the correct speed limit for a certain area depending on the local traffic, road, and weather conditions, allowing drivers to be informed of real-time scenarios.
Every year, around 15 million reported traffic violations occur, leading to collisions and accidents. Manually, it is impossible to identify and penalize such a large amount of violations, meaning that many violators are not caught, thereby encouraging others. AI-based systems can bridge this gap by using AI, IoT, and speed cameras to identify traffic violations in real time and generate automated penalty/fine slips for violators
AI can be a great help for accident analysis, road safety oversight, road safety assessment, and recognizing black spots (areas where accidents are more likely to happen). It can also be used to locate hazardous potholes or possible landslides on mountainous roads.
In many countries, post-accident emergency care is a major concern, as approximately half of those involved in accidents pass away on the spot or while being transported to a hospital. If AI technology can be used to detect the location and severity of accidents quickly, precious lives can be saved by providing emergency care within a short time. Moreover, AI could assist paramedics on the spot by processing images of injuries and offering medical advice.
The role of leading auto manufacturers?
One potential solution to the issue is to equip cars with AI technology. Such as
pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking systems, which can assist distracted drivers in reacting faster and preventing injuries and fatalities. However, the slow adoption of these technologies by major car manufacturers has placed the responsibility on consumers to purchase and utilize these systems.
In 2016, the United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety announced that they would work with 20 leading auto manufacturers to ensure that all new cars are equipped with AI systems to help save lives by 2022.
The following car manufacturers have signed a commitment to equip all new cars with life-saving AI systems by 2022: Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo Car USA. However, this declaration is voluntary,
and car manufacturers are able to abandon or modify their own internal targets at any time.
How will AI revolutionize the transportation experience?
Road pressure sensors will be used to monitor the weight and speed of vehicles in real-time to enforce traffic laws.
Smart traffic signs will assist drivers in navigating the road safely and efficiently by providing voice messages about what actions to take in response to different traffic signs.
Traffic management systems that utilize speed cameras can improve road safety and reduce congestion by alerting drivers to hazardous conditions and automatically adjusting traffic flow. Smart traffic lights, which gather data from surveillance cameras or intelligent vehicles, can adjust signals based on current traffic conditions, such as prioritizing emergency vehicles.
The advances in artificial intelligence are providing us with tools to make our roads safer.
As AI continues to improve, we can expect to see a continuous decrease in road fatalities and a much safer driving experience for everyone. It is clear that the use of AI in the quest for safer roads is a promising field and should be embraced and encouraged.
We at “Kuality AI” decided to embrace AI for good of humanity, and our professional experts managed to develop many AI services in the quest for safer driving, especially in commercial vehicles fleet such as ThirdEye, which uses integrated data to improve CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) scores, enhance compliance and exonerate drivers from expensive insurance claims. Also, it can be used to coach drivers and help them improve.