Australia has announced the roll-out of an artificial intelligence system which analyzes images of vehicles to detect illicit use of cell phones by drivers.
The state of New South Wales (NSW) revealed a pilot program had checked 8.5 million vehicles between January and June of 2019, finding that over 100,000 drivers had allegedly violated mobile phone usage laws.
“The mobile phone detection camera program will now be rolled out from late 2019 and will include fixed and relocatable trailer-mounted cameras,” the NSW Centre for Road Safety declared in a statement. “Together, these cameras will target illegal mobile phone use anywhere, anytime.”
“The detection system, which operates both day and night and in all weather conditions, uses high-definition cameras to capture images of the front-row cabin space of all vehicles to detect illegal mobile phone use.”
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Drivers are assured that all images flagged by the A.I. monitor are reviewed by humans.
“The system uses artificial intelligence to automatically review images and detect offending drivers, and to exclude images of non-offending drivers from further action. Images that the automated system considers likely to contain a driver illegally using a mobile phone are verified by authorized personnel.”
The state also guarantees that images captured by the A.I. system are “securely stored and managed.”
“Warning letters will be issued for the first three months. Following this period, the penalty for offending drivers is five demerit points and a $344 fine ($457 in a school zone). The penalty increases to 10 demerit points during double demerit periods.”
NSW authorities have “set an aspirational target of zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads by 2056,” according to their Road Safety Plan 2021.