Workplace Solutions Driving safety

AI and fleet management

How does combining artificial intelligence with fleet management encourage safer driving behaviors?

Responding is Amy Ahn-You, director of marketing and digital engagement, Rosco Vision Systems, Queens, NY.

Artificial intelligence plays a critical role in safety advancements for the automotive industry. Simple safety technologies have evolved, becoming smarter and producing more accurate, meaningful data for drivers and fleet managers alike. From collision warnings to vehicle tracking, AI is used to keep those inside and outside the vehicle safe.

Collision-avoidance technology has become a standard in most cars manufactured today. Cars equipped with sensors and/or cameras assist drivers with a variety of safety solutions ranging from departure warnings to pedestrian detection. Although the use of sensors and cameras isn’t standardized in the commercial vehicle industry, the adoption rates continue to increase as the benefits of these investments prove effective. Fleet owners and managers see the value of adding driver assistance technology to increase awareness around the vehicle.

Automotive cameras are no longer used for ordinary image or video captures. The true value of the camera comes from the incorporated AI technology. The AI that calculates distance, speed and trajectory of the vehicle; the AI that can distinguish between an inanimate object and a pedestrian; the AI that can read a speed limit sign and alert the driver that they are over the speed threshold – this is the intelligence that keeps data meaningful. Incorporating an AI-connected camera can be the difference between a driver taking alert cues or ignoring them because of too many false positives.

AI isn’t only used for external elements, but also for in-cab awareness. Many drivers have habits that can cause distractions while behind the wheel, including cellphone use and even drowsiness. Sophisticated AI cam-eras, using facial recognition technology, can detect dangerous behaviors that may take a driver’s attention off the road.
Drowsiness: The AI can detect a driver yawning, or if their eyes are closed for a prolonged period of time.
Distraction: The AI can detect if the driver’s eyes aren’t looking forward or if there’s downward head movement (i.e., looking down at a phone).
Phone use: The AI can detect if the driver is holding a phone by their ear.

As we make strides in smart technology, AI will continue to play a large role in vehicle and fleet safety. Years ago, automotive event recorders were used solely to record events such as harsh braking, speeding or other G-force events. Now, the same equipment is paired with AI technology that can enhance fleet productivity and efficiency through the intelligent classification of data.

The power of data is at our fingertips in today’s connected world. The development of AI-incorporated hard-ware and software heightens that power and encourages safer practices from the driver to the fleet owner.

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the authors and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.

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