Pilot research at IIIH Hyderabad on bus drivers reveals that AI enhances safe driving behaviour

According to a pilot research by the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad and Central Road Research Institute, artificial intelligence-based solutions promote safe driving behaviour. An AI-based Collision Avoidance System (CAS) placed on a fleet of buses in Nagpur during the research shown a significant decrease in safety alerts received, encouraging improved driving habits.

A senior official from IIIT Hyderabad stated, "In the initial phase, 50 Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) Aapli buses were selected for installation of AI-based Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) devices to assess their usefulness in increasing the safety of public transport buses."

Bus drivers with various driving backgrounds participated in the study. The drivers' allocated cars and routes changed often. The fleet of buses typically ran from five in the morning until eleven at night.

According to the official, "the pilot research examined 3,00,000 km of bus travel from December 2021 to March 2022, with a median of 80 km travelled by a driver per day."

A few seconds before a possible accident, the AI-powered CAS notifies the driver via audible and visual alarms as it continually analyses the road ahead.

For instance, it warns the driver of probable pedestrian collisions, lane departures, and forward collisions, and it also advises the driver to keep a safe distance from the car in front of them, the official added.

Such in-the-moment alerts are known to increase driver response times by up to two times, which lowers the chance of crashes.

By reducing safety alerts at the conclusion of the first month of observation, at least 48% of drivers on average showed improvement in safe driving behaviour, the official stated. The official noted improvements in defensive driving techniques such maintaining a safe following distance and being aware of Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs).

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