RTC may soon deploy AI-driven tool to curb accidents

Safety device developed by MCEME to be tested soon

July 02, 2021 08:06 pm | Updated 08:06 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Passengers aboard buses could soon have a safer ride with the Telangana State Transport Corporation mulling the installation of an artificial intelligence powered device which prevents drivers from dozing off at the steering wheel, avoid road accidents, and thereby save lives.

Sources said that a recent meeting of TSRTC officials and officers of the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME), was facilitated by an agency of the Information Technology Department which came up with a proposal. Here, the functioning of the device, developed by the MCEME, was explained to officials of the transport juggernaut.

According to those who are aware of the development, the accident prevention system could find application in buses which travel long distances. Each day, the TSRTC operates dozens of buses, from places such as the Mahatama Gandhi Bus Station, within Telangana and to destinations in other states such as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

“We have hundreds of buses which travel long routes, and require long hours driving with few stops. Typically these buses ply on the inter-State travel routes. While our drivers are careful, the device which we were shown is fitted near the driver, monitors his eye movements, and sounds an alarm if it senses that the eyes are closed for a longer duration than normal, say for three seconds or so. This means that it prevents the driver from dozing off. In case something like this happens, dozens of lives can be saved. The military has developed a very useful system. We have met senior officers who explained how it functions,” the source said.

At the moment, the TSRTC is mulling testing the device for a month by fitting it in one of the corporation’s buses. After this, it is likely that it will be shown to a larger number of drivers and their responses will be gauged. The final modalities are yet to be worked out. Officials said that as of now the development is in a nascent stage.

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