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Microsoft Research has developed an artificial intelligence based software called (HAMS) Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety that automates driver license tests in India. The artificial intelligence system makes an 'educated’ analysis of a driver’s ability before issuing a license.
The smartphone based driving test system has been installed at the Dehradun Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Uttarakhand, and the company says that the system is ready for adoption across the country, and globally.
Mr Venkat Padmanabhan, the Deputy Managing Director at Microsoft Research India said, “The main challenge in the traditional driver's license test is the burden placed on the human evaluators and the resulting subjectivity that a candidate faces." Mr Padmanabhan started the HAMS project in 2016.
Microsoft says that the automation using HAMS technology can relieve evaluators of the testing burden, and can also make the process objective and transparent for student drivers.
The HAMS technology uses a smartphone's front & rear cameras, and other sensors, to monitor driver behaviour and reactions at the road scene in front (distance to the vehicle in front, for example), simultaneously. The software uses advanced artificial Intelligence for efficient operation.
Microsoft’s HAMS technology features capabilities such as tracking of the vehicle's trajectory during designated test manoeuvres like parallel parking or negotiating a roundabout. Tracking enables HAMS to determine whether the driver stopped in the middle of a manoeuvre for longer than is permitted or tried to course correct by rolling forward and backward alternately more times than allowed.
Mr Akshay Nambi, a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research India, said, "On an average, over 50 candidates take the HAMS-enabled automated license test every day at the Dehradun RTO. Due to the comprehensive nature of testing, just about 50 percent candidates pass the test, ensuring that only qualified drivers are given a driver's license."
Driver license testing is a massive problem in the country. A survey conducted by the SaveLIFE Foundation in India reports that 59 per cent of the drivers have never done a test to obtain a driving license.
Thoughts About Microsoft’s HAMS System
That’s interesting technology. Yes, this country needs more things like the HAMS tech. The RTOs across India are a corrupt space. We think the officials at the Dehradun RTO will have better drivers at least while the tests are going on. Once a license is issued, who knows!