We all have been through the frustration of sudden potholes impeding your vehicle’s speed. But finally, Intel has a solution. The US chipmaker is working on a software that will alert drivers about road conditions – including potholes and the surrounding environment – well in advance.
The company – which has created a database of roads in Hyderabad and Bengaluru – believes the rate of accidents can be brought down through a proper understanding of the road. Besides being a root cause behind numerous accidents, poor condition of roads has always been a problem for daily commuters in India.
Intel, with help from the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Hyderabad has created a dataset that detects people, vehicles, animals, vegetation, immovable structures, and traffic signs on the road.
Speaking on the need for such a technology, Nivruti Rai, country head of Intel said that about 17 people die in road accidents in an hour in India. “And, most of them are young men. If the computer can solve problems like this – any amount of money spent on this project is worth it,” she added.
The company is also in talks with startups and academic researchers who are capable of using the dataset to build a technology that can help drivers react to a variety of potential hazards in a split-second.
The company hopes the dataset, consisting of over 50,000 image frames and 10,000 segmentation annotations, takes the shape of algorithms that could go into the cars.
Intel claims that this developing technology leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and vision technologies to provide drivers a few extra seconds to avoid collisions. Rai said that Intel is keeping this data available as open-source and any startup or academia can access it and build technology that can avoid collision or accidents. It is also reaching out to students to make use of the datasets.
Professor CV Jawahar, dean of research and development at IIITH said that the institute will use AI tasks to increase the amount and diversity of different types of roads and regions.
In addition to the India Driving Dataset, IITH is also working in areas such as specific driver assistance and road safety issues, enabled by datasets, which helps in understanding driver behavior and the quality of traffic infrastructure.