In a groundbreaking move towards enhancing road safety, the Punjab Transport Department has announced plans to introduce state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) technology to assess driving skills at its 32 automated driving test tracks across the state.
The cutting-edge equipment, equipped with advanced motion sensors, will leverage video analytics to comprehensively evaluate an individual’s driving proficiency. This innovative initiative aims to bring a transformative shift in the assessment of driving capabilities, moving beyond traditional methods.
Dilraj Singh, Secretary of the Transport Department, confirmed the impending installation of this pioneering technology. The department is currently finalizing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a private firm to initiate a pilot project at the Mohali automated driving test track.
Singh highlighted the significance of this development in the context of the considerable number of driving licenses issued annually in the state, amounting to approximately 7 lakh. The integration of AI-based technology is anticipated to provide a more accurate and real-time evaluation of driving skills.
Dr. Kamal Soi, a member of the National Road Safety Council, shed light on the existing challenges within the current testing infrastructure. He pointed out that the 32 automated driving test tracks had been relying on outdated technology for the past eight years. Soi emphasized that, despite the state’s impressive 99% pass rate against the national average of 65%, the grim reality of road fatalities persisted.
“Sobering statistics reveal that approximately 5,000 people lose their lives on Punjab’s roads annually, with a staggering fatality rate of 72%,” stated Soi. This striking disparity between the high pass rates and the grim road safety statistics underscores the need for a more robust and comprehensive assessment of driving skills.
The upcoming AI-based technology promises to address this gap by providing a holistic monitoring system. It will offer real-time insights into a driver’s behavior, encompassing crucial factors such as face identification, seat belt usage, and adherence to the proper use of the rear-view mirror.
As the Transport Department takes a bold step toward modernizing its testing infrastructure, the integration of AI in driving assessments holds the potential to significantly enhance road safety in Punjab. This initiative not only marks a departure from obsolete testing methods but also reflects a commitment to reducing road accidents and fatalities through the adoption of cutting-edge technology.