A Melbourne company is developing technology that could one day help catch drivers under the influence. However, even if the technology is successful, it doesn’t spell the demise of drug and alcohol testing.
Catching impaired drivers with camera technology
According to an article on 7 News, the Melbourne technology company is looking to develop a road safety camera with artificial intelligence capabilities. It’s intended that the camera will be able to detect drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The company behind the technology, Acusensus, is currently collecting data using driving simulators. The data is then being used to analyse the driving patterns and reaction times of both drivers who are under the influence and drivers who are sober. The data and analysis will then be fed into an artificial intelligence system to pick up minute differences in patterns, reaction times and driving behaviour.
The technology is in its early stages. Once data collection and analysis are complete, and the artificial intelligence work done, cameras will be developed and then tested on our roads.
As for the million dollar question of how you detect a driver who may be under the influence, compared to generally bad driving, the people behind the technology say that’s a challenge.
“That’s exactly why we’re doing so many trials in the simulator,” says Acusensus Managing Director Alexander Jannink in the 7 News article.
“The simulator has been going through Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and we’re getting a big data set to try and work out the difference between bad drivers and impaired drivers and good drivers.”
Drug and alcohol testing still plays vital role
In practice, if the technology is successful, the cameras could be used on our roads to alert police that an impaired driver has been detected. The police could then intercept the driver and conduct drug and alcohol testing.
Why would drug and alcohol testing still be required? Essentially, no single system is completely infallible and when it comes to the very serious matter of testing accuracy, no shortcuts can be taken. This is why initial drug and alcohol testing results on our roads are backed up by additional testing.
Theoretically, the technology could also be used and adapted for use in workplaces. Like on our roads, it would only be used to alert for the potential for drug and alcohol testing and initial testing results would be confirmed with additional testing.
This is the process that Integrity Sampling has used since we started doing workplace drug and alcohol testing, to ensure 100% accuracy.
Camera technology already in use
While Acusensus continues to develop its drug and alcohol camera capabilities, technology it developed to catch motorists using mobile phones will soon to be rolled out in Victoria. The technology will be used to take high-resolution images of motorists who illegally use their mobile devices.
Alexander Jannink says his company’s technology will help to decrease the road toll and road accidents in general across the country.
“If we can arm police with the right tools to fix and address this problem, crashes will really come down,” he said. “Hundreds of lives could be saved.”
FEATURED IMAGE CAPTION:
Could camera technology one day help detect drivers under the influence? Credit Sarah Stewart https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahmstewart/3356162966/
ADDITIONAL IMAGE CAPTION:
Camera technology will soon roll out in Victoria to help catch drivers using their devices. Credit Alexandre Boucher https://unsplash.com/photos/BNrlDv8w07Y