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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Computer-controlled cameras catch Australians on their phones while driving

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

The New South Wales Department of Transportation (Australia) announced the use of computer-controlled cameras to combat drivers who use their cell phones while driving. The system, which takes pictures of cars and independently analyzes whether the driver uses gadgets, has already found out 100 thousand violations for six months of test trials. By December, they plan to install 45 cameras throughout the state, reports the Associated Press.

Due to the increased risk of accidents caused by the driver, in many countries there is a ban on the use of phones or other gadgets while driving. We are, of course, talking about direct use, for example, correspondence while driving or reading from the screen: you can answer calls using headsets worn or installed directly in the car, and you can also use the phone for navigation if the device does not distract from the road.

In order to increase the safety of drivers and pedestrians, the New South Wales government has been testing the technology for automatically detecting drivers who use gadgets while driving. The system consists of two cameras, one of which removes the registration number of the car, and the other – its interior through the windshield. The obtained images are analyzed by computer vision algorithms: there is no information about the specifics of their work, but it is known that they are used to exclude from the selection of all photos the images of those who do not use phones. Before writing a fine to the driver (it amounts to 344 Australian dollars – almost USD 232), the person checks the pictures again.

During the six months of test trials, the system completed 8.5 million checks: of which 100 thousand cases of using gadgets while driving, including, for example, a driver who used both a phone and a tablet, were identified.

According to the agency, the new system will prevent about a hundred cases of serious injuries and deaths caused by drivers distracted by the phone per year. By December of this year, 45 such systems are planned to be installed throughout the state: some will be put on the road, while others will be equipped with special vans that will drive along the roads. By 2023, the Department of Transportation plans to conduct 135 million such inspections annually.

Of course, not only the government is concerned about the problem of distracted drivers. Last year, the American company Affectiva showed a system that analyzes the condition of the driver and the position of his head and assesses how distracted he is from the road.

Via | AP

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