IIIH Hyderabad’s pilot study on bus drivers finds AI improves safe driving behaviour

New Delhi: Artificial Intelligence-based solutions improve safe driving behaviour, according to a pilot study by the Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad and Central Road Research Institute.

During the study, an AI-based Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) installed on a fleet of buses in Nagpur showed marked reduction in safety alerts received, fostering better driving practices.

“In the initial period, 50 Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) Aapli buses were selected for installing AI-based Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) devices to study their effectiveness in improving the safety of public transport buses,” said a senior official of IIIT Hyderabad.

“The study involved bus drivers with varied driving experiences. Vehicles and routes assigned to drivers were not constant. The typical hours of operation of the fleet of buses were between 5 am and 11 pm.

“The pilot study analysed 3,00,000 km of distance covered by the buses from December 2021 to March 2022 with a median of 80 km driven by a driver each day,” the official said.

The AI-powered CAS continuously monitors the road ahead and warns the driver in the form of audio and visual alerts a few seconds before a potential collision.

“For instance, it alerts (the driver) in case of potential collisions with pedestrians, lane departure warnings, forward collision warnings and also prompts to maintain safe distance from the vehicle ahead,” the official said.

“Such real-time warnings are known to improve driver reaction time by up to 2X which in turn reduces likelihood of collisions.”

Atleast 48 per cent drivers on average demonstrated improvement in safe driving behaviour at the end of the first month of observation via reduction in safety alerts, the official said.

“Improvements in defensive driving practices like safe driving distance and alertness to Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs) are noteworthy,” the official said.

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