Driving Offence Detection in the AI Age

The BBC has reported that Merseyside Police have begun to use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect whether drivers are not wearing seat belts or using mobile phones behind the wheel.

This week, the police force deployed an AI-equipped spy camera van on the region’s roads to capture footage of motorists to detect whether any offence has been committed.

Snapped! Unveiling AI Surveillance

The van will employ cameras to capture footage of possible offences, which will subsequently be processed by an AI system to identify and determine the occurrence of any violations.

The AI-equipped van features two distinct cameras for surveillance:

  1. The first camera is positioned at a shallow angle, capable of detecting a mobile phone in close proximity to the driver’s ear or whether a seat belt is being worn by drivers or passengers.
  2. The second camera offers a steeper perspective, primarily dedicated to identifying if people are using their mobile phones to text while driving.

Offences identified in the AI results will be double-checked by humans before being passed to the police for review, who will then notify drivers of any intended prosecution.

Revolutionising Road Safety

Sergeant Garreth Berry said the technology would “make our roads safer” and noted that last year 19 people died on Merseyside’s roads and 440 were seriously injured.

The new technology isn’t about giving tickets, it’s about improving road safety and encouraging people to stop using their phones and start wearing seatbelts,” he said.

“Hopefully now everyone knows we’re using this technology, it will prevent them from using their phone and encourage them to wear seatbelts.”

Paul Fletcher, from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, added: “vast majority” of people understand the dangers of using a phone or not wearing a seatbelt.

“For those who don’t appreciate the risks associated with both, we’re hoping this device will be enough to prevent them from continuing to put themselves and others at risk of harm”.