Automated driver license tests in India become a reality with Microsoft's AI-powered 'HAMS' 

The Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety (HAMS) improves driving test standards and road safety.

author_img V Melvin Published :  30th October 2019 05:44 PM   |   Published :   |  30th October 2019 05:44 PM
Hams

Hams

Your phone may help you drive better soon! Microsoft Research has developed a smartphone-based driving test system, Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety (HAMS). 

It was first developed as a monitoring system that leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence by analysing driver behaviour in an effort to improve road safety with effective feedback. 

Since driver monitoring requires extensive training by drivers the project slowly inclined towards the evaluation of driving tests and now the fully functional HAMS can observe the state of the driver and how the vehicle is being driven in the context of a road environment that the vehicle is in.

With low-cost sensing devices like smartphones using its front and back camera along with other sensors to monitor things like Driver's gaze and the road scene. 

“The system has already been deployed at Dehradun Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Uttarakhand and is ready for wider adoption across the country and beyond,” Microsoft said on Wednesday in a statement.

"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," Venkat Padmanabhan, Deputy Managing Director, Microsoft Research India, who started the HAMS project in 2016.

It is reported that more than fifty individuals take these tests on a daily basis and only half of them barely get a driver's license. 

This is because the system relies heavily on Artificial Intelligence (AI) for efficiency and robust operation, to precisely determine whether the driver made more corrections than allowed while completing a particular manoeuvre, for instance, parallel parking or negotiating a roundabout.

"Automation using HAMS technology can not only help relieve evaluators of the burden but also make the process objective and transparent for candidates," Padmanabhan said in the aforementioned release.

In a survey by SaveLIFE Foundation in India reported that a whopping 59 per cent of the respondents did not give a test to obtain a driving license.

HAMS, running on the smartphone and on an edge server onsite at the testing track, will do the rest and produce a detailed report shortly after you finish navigating through the test manoeuvres.  

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