Acusensus hail AA support for AI distracted driving solution

The manager of AI road safety company Acusensus says the AA’s call for their technology to be rolled out across the UK is an important step towards the solution being used operationally, saving lives on our highways.

Geoff Collins has welcomed the AA Charitable Trust’s support for the cameras which automatically detect whether people could be illegally using a hand-held phone.

In a statement marking 20 years since using hand-held phones became illegal, the Trust commented: “New cameras, using AI, aimed at catching drivers using their mobile phone behind the wheel are proving successful in police trials so should be rolled out as soon as practical.”

The “Heads Up” solution, which was pioneered in Australia, uses bespoke roadside cameras and Artificial Intelligence-based image analysis to flag up likely violations.  Anonymised images of possible rule-breakers are then sent for human review, to decide if a potential offence has occurred.  It has been trialled in dozens of counties across the country in the last two years, with the first long-term installations introduced in Devon and Cornwall.

”It is clear that the vast majority of road users feel uncomfortable that other drivers are being distracted by their hand held phones, with feedback from our extensive trials proving this time and again”. Mr Collins said.  “Having a trusted organisation like the AA back our technology will hopefully help decision makers build their business cases to get the cameras keeping an eye on more of our roads.

“For a long time, any enforcement technology has been painted as a war on motorists, when really it’s part of the war on bad driving,” Mr Collins continued.  “The fact that the AA Charitable Trust, on behalf of the AA’s members encourage improved driving behaviours through the use of our technology, shows how accepted it is by the vast majority of responsible drivers in this country.”

Edmund King OBE, Director of the AA Charitable Trust, said: “The use hand-help phones at the wheel has been illegal for 20 years but it is obvious that more needs to be done so stop this potentially fatal habit. Sophisticated camera technology can help target offenders but more importantly remind the 50% who think they won’t be caught that they might be caught. This will make our roads safer for all.”

“The dramatic growth of smart phone use, with people literally unable to go more than a few minutes without checking their screen, means we need the solution to dissuade people from even thinking of using their phones,” concluded Geoff Collins of Acusensus.  “Even a quick check of a phone on a long journey could have disastrous consequences, so letting drivers know that they can be detected will help to break those bad habits.  We don’t want to catch anyone, we want to make the roads safer”.

Acusensus recently won a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its technology, which is also used to spot people in a vehicle who are not wearing a seatbelt.

(Picture – Devon and Cornwall Police/Acusensus)

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