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Fewer road deaths as AI, smart cars, capture seatbelt violations

A car's seatbelts are, more often than not, the difference between life and death, and yet so many of us fail to use them. AI and few smart car manufacturers are making it very expensive for us not to wear them

In the UAE, every passenger in a vehicle must wear seatbelts or else face a penalty of 400 dirhams ($109) AI achieving 99% compliance on mobile exclusion while driving, and a five-fold increase on seatbelt adherence Some car models can tell insurers or law enforcement whether you were wearing a seatbelt during a crash

A car’s seatbelts are more often than not the difference between life and death, and yet so many of us fail to use them. AI and a few smart car manufacturers are making it very expensive for us not to wear them. 

Laws should be introduced to force all occupants of a vehicle to wear seatbelts, participants of a conference have recommended.

Delegates at the Second International Conference on Traffic Safety organized by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), recently concluded that the current rule, which says only the driver and the passenger in the front seat must wear seatbelts, should be changed.

This came in support of a UAE police statement saying that every passenger in a vehicle must wear seatbelts or else face a penalty of 400 dirhams ($109), adding that a radar monitoring system captures high-resolution images through AI-powered cameras and can detect mobile phone and seatbelt violations on roadways.

Global studies show that the use of a seatbelt reduces death risk by 40%to 50% in case of an accident for passengers in the front seats and between 25% and 75% for those in the rear seats.

AI and road safety

Roadway cameras utilizing artificial intelligence have helped halve the number of road fatalities in Saudi Arabia and reduce injuries by almost a third (32%) over the past three years, a leading tech expert from the kingdom said on day two of the GITEX Global Leaders Vision conference.

Dr. Abdul Rahman Alarifi, General Manager of Systems Engineering at the Saudi Technology & Security Compliance Control Company (Tahakom), said AI has increased road safety compliance in the Kingdom and more advanced technology solutions will be introduced in the coming year.

Key successes, he said, included achieving 99% compliance on the non-use of mobiles while driving, and a five-fold increase in adhering to seatbelt laws. 

“This is the greatest application of artificial intelligence that affects daily life in the Kingdom,” Dr. Alarifi said.

Alarifi said new AI solutions are now being progressed in Tahakom’s R&D lab, including vehicle motion violation monitoring, systems to check highway and road conditions, and smart checkpoints.

Smart car manufacturers keen on seatbelt safety

Chevrolet manufacturer, General Motors (GM), announced new features to encourage drivers to buckle up. The ‘Buckle to Drive’ system won’t allow drivers to set off for 20 seconds, with GM hoping the extra time prompts drivers to plug their belt in. 

A new study from Confused.com also found that some car models can already tell insurers or law enforcement whether you were wearing a seatbelt during a crash. 

Taking fifteen of the top car manufacturers around the globe, the experts have investigated their policies to find out which cars are the best for seatbelt safety. 

The results found that only 5 of the 15 manufacturers can report your seatbelt safety:

  • Volvo
  • Ford
  • Audi
  • Kia
  • Volkswagen

The study reveals some of the most intelligent car brands today including Tesla, Land Rover, and Porsche don’t have the ability to report whether a driver is wearing their seatbelt.

Many helpful features found in connected cars such as crash location, crash footage, and emergency and breakdown calls will help drivers not only feel safer but provide helpful information for insurers if a crash does occur. 

Therefore, insurance premiums for cars that do include seatbelt safety features can and should be reduced.