Australia’s most populous state has rolled out an experimental program that uses artificial intelligence and high-definition cameras to identify drivers who are illegally using mobile phones, local media report.
The program, using devices developed by Australia-based Acusensus, is being tested on roadways in New South Wales. Drivers will not be fined — at first, according to SBS online news.
It’s hard to say what’s worse: the prospect of Big Brother using more and ever more acute eyes to keep watch over everyone, or the prospect of a crash caused by a texting driver. But it’s one of the latest attempts to use technology to fix a problem caused by the technology that has revolutionized the way people get around and stay in touch. About 9 percent of all fatal crashes in 2016 were the result of distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
SBS reports that the company found during trial runs that more than 11,000 drivers a day were using their phones illegally. The company’s managing director was also quoted as saying the death of a friend in a crash caused by an impaired and distracted driver motivated him to pursue a technological fix for distracted driving.
The pilot program in New South Wales comes as a poll by a motorists' organization there found recently that Australians now fear distracted drivers more than drunken drivers.
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