Australia has harnessed artificial intelligence techniques to detect risky driving behaviors in the states of Victoria and Queensland. Hoping that the AI-enhanced camera system when applied will save the lives of drivers and road users, Reduce the number of injuries resulting from traffic accidents. The move is part of a larger strategy aimed at enhancing road safety and road users in Australia.
Statistics around the world indicate that one of the most important causes that lead to traffic accidents is that drivers are preoccupied with their mobile phones while driving and distracted from the dangers of the road for similar reasons. These causes are avoidable. As in cases resulting from non-compliance with the fastening of the seat belt, This remains one of the most important factors causing the increase in the severity of injuries and the rate of fatal accidents. Road accidents and resulting injuries pose a challenge to many States due to the resulting human and material losses. Which pushes it to look for more effective solutions to influence the behaviors of drivers. In this sense, The states of Victoria and Queensland in Australia have announced a new plan aimed at monitoring and fining violating drivers through the use of smart cameras that rely on artificial intelligence to identify dangerous behavioral violations.
The state of Victoria reported in July 2021 that it had successfully completed a three-month pilot project on the state's roads and cities. A new generation of high-resolution and fast cameras powered by an artificial intelligence system was used to capture and analyze images of passing vehicles in various weather and traffic conditions.
At the end of the experiment in which the team used two mobile cameras of this type, The proven technology has been successfully applied to over 679,400 vehicles. The results of the experiment revealed that one driver out of every 42 drivers used the mobile phone in violation of the law while driving. It's a finding officials described as worrying. Especially considering that the wrong use of a mobile phone when driving is one of the main reasons for the high rate of traffic accidents. Smart cameras also revealed other equally dangerous practices that are still common among drivers while driving. Such as not wearing a seat belt, or not holding the steering wheel, Or put the pet in the front seat.
The Victorian government hopes that the AI-powered camera system, when implemented across the state in 2023, will save 95 lives a year. Avoiding greater numbers of injuries as a result of traffic accidents, Based on a recent study by the Accident Research Center at Monash University, In 2020, the number of deaths resulting from road accidents reached 211, according to statistics from the Transport Accident Commission of the local government of the state of "Victoria".
Queensland was the first in Australia to test AI-based cameras such as those tested in Victoria. In the summer of 2020, it launched its pilot project on city streets and highways using mobile and fixed cameras hidden at points scattered along the road. Some 3,600 traffic violations related to using a mobile phone while driving were recorded during the first few weeks of the test application. This is in addition to about a thousand violations for not wearing a seat belt.
The test in Queensland revealed an average of 100 violations per day. 60 of them were related to the use of a mobile phone while driving, Another 40 violations related to non-compliance with seat belts. Of the 219 deaths recorded last year as a result of traffic accidents in Queensland, Of these, 27 were caused by not wearing a seat belt.
The new camera system takes several images at high speed showing the front of the car, Including plate number. Additional cameras are also used to capture infrared images. This makes images clearer in different weather conditions and visibility levels. The images are then automatically checked through a set of algorithms that verify that the driver is holding a mobile phone in his hand or wearing a seat belt. Additional algorithms can also be programmed to check for irregularities of another type.
In the event that the AI system finds that the images are devoid of evidence of any violation, It destroys them within a certain period of capture to be determined by the relevant authorities. As for cases suspected of violation, They are audited by a Department of Transport employee who has been specially trained to validate violations. A traffic violation shall not be issued against the drivers concerned until the authorized officer ascertains that the violation has indeed occurred.
The Victorian government has budgeted $25.6 million to develop and implement the technology over the next two years after all tests are completed. Preparing new laws to fine violators, Conduct public awareness campaigns. This investment in advanced technology is part of the Victorian Government's new road safety strategy. which aims to halve the number of deaths from traffic accidents and significantly reduce the number of other injuries by 2030, Then in 2050 a level of safety in which there are no deaths from traffic accidents completely. The strategy is being implemented as part of an action plan that includes projects to build safer, higher quality roads and make road improvements across the state with a total value of US$207 million.