Former US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said that proper use of artificial intelligence can help minimize human error while driving, thus decrease road accidents. He said this at the inaugural International Road Federation (IRF) Congress- the Middle East and North Africa, hosted by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai on Sunday.
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Foxx said, “This is the first generation that I believe will see a dramatic decrease in road fatalities as a result of technology.”
As per IRF, the 10th biggest cause of deaths is road accidents. In UAE it is the second biggest cause of death after cardiovascular diseases.
UN General Secretariat report suggested that most of the road accidents can be predicted and prevented.
Thomas Edelmann, founder and managing director of RoadSafetyUAE said, “About 90 percent of accidents occur due to human error. Technology like automated emergency braking, lane departure prevention and ultimately autonomous driving will be important ingredients in vehicle safety. Intelligent traffic systems or AI can play a vital role in predicting traffic flows and even misbehavior of individual traffic participants at key traffic locations.”
Mattar Al Tayer, RTA director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors said that after innovative road projects in Dubai, road accidents and deaths have reduced drastically. During his speech at the IRF, he said that there has been a dramatic fall in the number of road fatalities in Dubai because of innovative road projects. Almost a decade ago 21.9 per 100,000 people died due to traffic accidents now it has gone down to 3.5 deaths per 100,000 people. By 2020 RTA wants this statistics to go down to zero.
Al Tayer further said, “A memorandum of understanding (MoU) will be signed during the Congress heralding the first experience of its kind worldwide, in terms of using technology and customizing the infrastructure to the crossing of roads by autonomous vehicles. Large pools of data will lead to better solutions for traffic management and it is vital for national governments to incubate new technology first, and then regulate them,”
Foxx explained, “We must find a balance between safety regulation and technological innovation to ensure a happier life. We have here (Dubai) what could be a huge example for the world. It is known around the world that, if you want to innovate, you have to come to Dubai. Organizations like the RTA are leading this change.”