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Artificial intelligence as a driving instructor


Japan is struggling with an aging population. There are more senior individuals, who require a different approach and services tailored to their requirements. The time of the pandemic, which is considered a particular threat to the elderly, is also becoming a new challenge. In many cases, such tasks can be handled by artificial intelligence, which can add a new dimension and opportunities to the existing spheres of life.

Driving schools in Japan have become one of the less obvious uses of AI. Contact with an instructor during a pandemic is a potential threat. The small, closed space of the car and two people in close proximity, combined with the stress associated with learning to drive, significantly increase the possibility of contracting Covid-19. However, when you replace the human instructor with an algorithm, the whole process becomes much safer.

A driver education center in Onojo, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, uses AI extensively. The algorithm measures every element of driver behavior and has the same actions as the instructor: may brake the vehicle when the trainee is driving incorrectly, it checks the movement of eyeballs and draws conclusions about the trainee’s concentration, remembers the exact route of maneuvers and even can show if someone is making progress in specific situations, such as driving in a curve or parking. Artificial intelligence does not get tired and allows human instructors employed at the center to rest. In fact, there are fewer and fewer of them, and an aging society means more seniors behind the wheel who need to be checked more often for driving ability.

AI technology for driving lessons has been developed by companies from Nagoya, Tier IV and Brain IV. Artificial intelligence has a number of laser sensors at its disposal, with which it “sees” and controls every aspect of driving. The driver has access to live data and can check how he coped in a given situation on a tablet installed in the car.

Research shows that over the last three decades the number of drivers over 70 has increased tenfold in Japan. Currently, there are over 11 million of them. Seniors with a driving license must undergo periodic checks to ensure that they are still able to react quickly enough to traffic situations and that their bodies are working fairly quickly behind the wheel. Driving schools are closing down simultaneously with the increase in the number of senior drivers. Artificial intelligence complements these needs perfectly.

More information here: Fukuoka driving school adopts AI-based system to check skills (Japan Times)

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