Mumbai's License Approach: AI to Assess Driving Skills, No Skills, No License

Battling high rate of road accidents and traffic indiscipline, the Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Transport Department plans to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based driving tests. Mumbai, along with 16 other locations in the state, will witness the construction of an automated driving test track integrated with AI software. The objective of these tracks is to reduce human intervention and enhance road safety. In 2022, there were 33,069 road accidents in Maharashtra, showing a slight increase as compared to 2019. The death rate increased by 16.38%.

Road accidents are the fifth leading cause of death in India, causing a loss of about 3% of GDP annually. Driving skill is a major factor in accidents, prompting the need for an assessment of perceptual and motor skills. To address this, the Department of Transport will set up automated driving test tracks at 17 sites across the state.

Automated test tracks will assess safe driving skills transparently using AI parameters for evaluation. The approach is aimed at eliminating corruption, ensuring safety standards and handling overburdened Regional Transport Offices (RTOs). AI integration will include facial recognition and applicant recognition, generating real-time driving test results for different track types. Technologies like deep learning and machine learning will simulate real life scenarios.

The project will automate seven of the 24 evaluation points required for issuing driving license as per Central Motor Vehicles Rule 15. The tracks will be designed for testing two wheelers, light motor vehicles and medium/heavy commercial vehicles. Various track configurations will be used, including figure eights, H-tracks, zig-zag turns, gradient trials and more.

In Mumbai Central and 16 other locations, these AI-enhanced tracks will contribute to scientifically assessing the driving skills of applicants, streamlining the process of issuing licenses, promoting proper driving training and increasing awareness about traffic rules .

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