Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence can help create safer, greener transportation systems

Artificial intelligence is playing an effective role in helping the transportation sector overcome many challenges including: passenger safety, traffic congestion, accidents, carbon emissions, and costs

Artificial intelligence has emerged as the go-to technology when it comes to solving the many complex challenges that the transportation sector faces. We look at some of the areas where artificial intelligence is making a noticeable impact.

Safety with artificial intelligence

Using artificial intelligence, it has become possible to track real-time data which when harnessed provides actionable insights to police personnel who can predict and prevent criminal activities. This enhances passenger security. Similarly, tracking real-time data from autonomous vehicles enables just-in-time interventions to prevent accidents and ensure passenger security. Smart roads that capture pedestrian and vehicular data are helping reduce traffic congestion and minimizing accidents by suggesting alternative routes and estimated wait times at traffic signals.

Many people find it difficult to drive after work. In such cases autonomous vehicles can ensure tired personnel get a break from driving and can snooze in the car without risking themselves or others on the road. Similarly, artificial intelligence powered autonomous vehicles can be beneficial for people who find it difficult to drive at night. Artificial intelligence also helps track patterns to identify and catch the erring drivers—drink and drive cases or texting behind the wheels—which makes roads safer for everyone.

Management and maintenance

Not just private vehicles, artificial intelligence can also benefit public transport by enabling decision-makers to leverage data and schedule public transport fleets smartly. Smarter algorithms in traffic lights can help gain insights into the traffic patterns of a given location at a given time. This is helping schedule and reroute traffic for better traffic management and decongestion of roads. Further, using high-end image processing techniques, artificial intelligence can help identify passages, pavements or bridges that need immediate attention and prioritize maintenance and rehabilitation activities. In addition to autonomous trucks, electric vehicles, and driverless trains, smart rails that run on virtual painted tracks—monitored using the software on board the train—are being tested in many countries.

The benefits of artificial intelligence in transport are not limited only to land-based transport systems. Unmanned, remote-controlled freight ships are being developed with a view to eliminate the need of crew being onboard and to allow more space for freight. This helps keep the land-based crew out of the dangers of the sea. Similarly, artificial intelligence is powering facial scanning of passengers at airports to allow them to onboard planes without the need to carry passports.

Curbing environmental pollution

One of the biggest challenges the transportation sector faces is that of environmental pollution. Decongestion of roads using artificial intelligence allows for the reduction in environmental pollution. Further, the development of innovative engineering techniques is making it possible to manufacture electric vehicles and other low emission vehicles. In addition, data tracking is enabling the identification of polluting vehicles to enforce appropriate action.

Reduce costs, enhance efficiency

By improving manufacturing processes, automating routine tasks, and enabling predictive maintenance, artificial intelligence is helping vehicle manufacturers to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

With greater adoption of the latest technologies such as 5G, edge computing, cloud, and IoT in the transportation sector, we can expect device-level decision-making, which will help make a safer, greener and sustainable transportation system of the future.

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