Tech

Microsoft AI Project HAMS Running On Smartphones Improves, Simplifies And Automates Driving Tests In India

Artificial Intelligence technology from Microsoft was recently deployed successfully in India to conduct driving tests for a driver’s license. The project, conducted on a pilot basis, involved a standard smartphone with an application that monitored the trainee driver’s actions and determined if the person was an adequate driver who qualified for a driver’s license.

The AI platform, officially identified as HAMS from Microsoft, could soon be deployed in other regions of the country, and may even be adopted by government agencies across the world looking to handle the rising number of applications. Microsoft has reportedly indicated that the HAMS AI Project worked better than expected, and was able to accurately judge the ability of the trainee driver’s abilities to maneuver a vehicle. Moreover, the platform was able to work without the presence of a human examiner sitting beside the applicant attempting the exam.

Microsoft HAMS AI Project Automates Screening And Approval Of Driver’s Licenses In Indian State:

Microsoft claims it has figured out a way to simplify the tedious procedure of issuing driver licenses. The company reportedly demonstrated the AI-based platform recently in Dehradun, the capital of the Indian state Uttarakhand near the Himalayan foothills. Hundreds of applicants wishing to qualify for a driver’s license took a test, but they weren’t accompanied by an instructor in the vehicle used to judge the driving skills of drivers. Instead, the vehicles were affixed with a smartphone that was running HAMS, an AI project developed by a Microsoft Research team.

HAMS stands for Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety. It was originally developed to monitor drivers and their driving to improve road safety. “Driver training and testing are foundational to this goal, and so the project naturally veered in the direction of helping evaluate drivers during their driving test,” noted the team behind the project.

HAMS works on any standard modern-day smartphone. It is essentially an application or app that uses the smartphone’s front and rear cameras and other sensors to monitor the driver, and the road ahead of them. The AI aspect of the HAMS project observes the applicant’s gaze and looks for patterns that either qualify the applicant as a driver or suggest otherwise. The HAMS project was customized to enable precise tracking of a vehicle’s trajectory during test maneuvers such as parallel parking or negotiating a roundabout.

The technology checked how well the applicant performed standard actions that are expected from a driver as well as unnecessary ones. Actions such as stopping in the middle of a test or course-correcting by rolling forward or backward more times than they were allowed were observed. Additionally, the AI also monitored for finer behavioral aspects such as routinely scanning rear and side-view mirrors while making decisions during driving.

Automation To Simplify, Accelerate And Improve Autonomous Driving Examinations:

Automation is already an increasing part of drivers’ tests around the globe. However, the approach is quite complex and expensive. The automated tests involve setting up of special markers, poles, and cameras along the test track. Applicants are then recorded while taking the test and the recorded footage is then analyzed to spot mistakes. Needless to add, the HAMS platform relies on a single smartphone, and hence, can be significantly cheaper to conduct an autonomous driver’s test. Moreover, with AI continually improving, the test process should theoretically get better with each session.

Microsoft’s HAMS project being involved in the performance testing of applicants is just one of the many roles that the platform can perform. The company appears to be working on ways to improve autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the AI within the platform could ensure vehicles are able to communicate better and coordinate their actions to boost speed, efficiency, and safety on the roads. The simplicity of the applications, and using a mere smartphone should certainly boost adoption and implementation in several developing and even developed nations.


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