Cameras and AI in TSRTC buses to detect drivers falling asleep, using mobile phones while driving

Driver monitoring cameras will track and alert in case drivers are distracted, falling asleep, or using mobile phones

July 01, 2023 08:54 pm | Updated 08:54 pm IST - Hyderabad

TSRTC proposes to install cameras that will monitor the drivers. It is likely to be launched in long distance services.

TSRTC proposes to install cameras that will monitor the drivers. It is likely to be launched in long distance services. | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

Public transport buses, in an attempt to ensure better road safety, will soon have driver monitoring systems (DMS) comprising CCTV cameras that will detect whether drivers are distracted, using mobile phones, or feeling drowsy while driving.

As many as 190 DMS, comprising CCTV cameras are likely to be installed, either immediately or in a phased manner, in an equal number of TSRTC buses. This is an extension of Project iRASTE, which seeks to reduce the number of crashes on roads, and reduce black spots on roads, by leveraging artificial intelligence, tenders to this effect have been floated.

According to the tender documents, the system will record in real-time the driver’s facial positions and eye movements, analyse them, and provide within a matter of a few seconds voice alerts in case of ‘driver distraction’, incidents in which the driver is found looking outside the bus often, are noticed. Alerts will be either in Telugu, English or Hindi. The system will also alert send alerts in case the driver does not have his seatbelt fastened or is either drowsy or smoking.

The DMS, using facial recognition technology, will recognise the driver, and map the trips he has undertaken. Using available data, the system will analyse the top safest drivers as well as rash drivers. CCTV cameras installed on the windscreen record movements.

As many as 200 buses have been installed with  Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in the Hyderabad–Vijayawada, Hyderabad–Bengaluru and Hyderabad–Nizamabad corridors. The proposal seeks to augment the existing ADAS with DMS. The DMS is likely to be installed in buses that ply long-distance routes.

The TSRTC first began to deliberate using an AI-based tool to detect drivers feeling drowsy at the steering wheel in July 2021. The transport juggernaut met with officers of the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering to discuss the application of such a tool for its buses.

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