|New South Wales in Australia recently launched AI cameras to detect texting drivers / Photo Credits: Shutterstock|
Cameras powered by artificial intelligence are everywhere. Establishments and houses are using these devices to monitor their properties and detect any suspicious intruders. They are also being used by governments in various ways, mainly to protect their people. Last December, New South Wales in Australia launched AI cameras that can detect drivers who are using their smartphones while driving.
Distracted driving has been a major issue in several countries. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has described it as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.” Reports show that 3,166 people were killed in crashes that involved distracted drivers in 2017.
According to BBC, a British public service broadcaster, the AI cameras were tested for three months. Those who had been caught texting while driving during those months received a warning letter, but after that, they could face a fine. Those who had been caught after the three-month warning period received penalty points and an A$344 (£180) fine, or an A$457 fine in a school zone.
During that trial, tech firm Acusensus was able to check 8.5 million vehicles.
In the first half of 2019, the device detected over 100,000 drivers using a mobile illegally. "Some people have not got the message about using their phones legally and safely. If they think they can continue to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and the community at risk without consequence they are in for a rude shock,” Andrew Constance, Minister for Roads, said.
The NSW Transport stated that they will be expanding 45 AI-equipped cameras by 2023 across the country. According to CNBC, the world leader in business news and real-time financial market coverage, the AI cameras can “automatically review images and detect offending drivers.” Bernard Carlon, the executive director of transport for New South Wales’ Centre for Road Safety, stated that these devices can even prevent around 100 fatal and serious injury crashes.
“There is strong community support for more enforcement, with 80% of people surveyed supporting the use of detection cameras to stop illegal mobile phone use,” Carlon added.