Microsoft is testing out an AI-powered tool to automate the process of giving out driver’s licenses in India. The Microsoft Research Project team has collaborated with the Regional Transport Office in Dehradun in the northern state of Uttarakhand.
Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety or HAMS, replaces the evaluator with just a smartphone attached to the car’s windshield in front of the driver. Now, this can be any smartphone and all it needs are the front and rear cameras along with the regular sensors that are packed inside these devices. The front-facing camera points at the driver while the rear camera is out front. All the components on the phone work together to provide a better evaluation of the driver.
Microsoft explains this with an example of a situation when there’s sharp braking in the car. The phone’s accelerometer will be able to detect the sudden jerk, the distance is measured with the vehicle in front using the rear camera, and finally, the front camera tries to capture whether the driver was distracted or fatigued. In this way, the AI-powered system will be able to provide a much better evaluation of a driver’s skill than a human evaluator.
HAMS was initially created to monitor drivers and their driving with the ultimate goal of improving road safety. Microsoft said that while exploring ways to achieve this goal, driver training and testing became an important aspect by starting with helping new drivers right from the beginning.
Apart from partnering with the Dehradun RTO, HAMS has also collaborated with the Institute of Driving and Traffic Research (IDTR) that’s run by Maruti-Suzuki for training drivers.