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Artificial intelligence could help halve road deaths by 2030 – Global Issue


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a call to halve the annual global road mortality rate and to take steps to ensure access to safe, affordable and sustainable transportation for all by 2030.

According to the newly launched initiative, rapid advances in AI are essential to make this happen, especially in low- and middle-income countries, where most lives are lost on the streets each year.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.3 million people die in road accidents each year. Between 20 and 50 million are victims of more non-fatal injuries, many of whom are disabled.

AI can help in a variety of ways, including better collection and analysis of crash data, increasing road infrastructure, increasing post-crash response efficiency, and stimulating innovation in regulatory structures.

This approach requires equitable access to data and ethical use of algorithms, which are currently lacking in many countries, making them unable to identify road safety solutions.

Unused opportunities

AI brings together special envoys for road safety: the Union for Road Safety, Technology and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Announcing the initiative, ITU Secretary-General Hulin Zhao said the disproportionate number of road deaths in developing countries was “another example of why the benefits of new technology should reach everyone, everywhere.”

“There are unnecessary opportunities to use AI to close the digital and road safety divide around the world,” said Jean Todd, road safety ambassador.

Work ahead

With the advent of the first partially automated car market, the future of automated driving is back in the spotlight. At the same time, the Covid-1 pandemic epidemic is changing the trend of mobility and is becoming a priority for privately owned vehicles.

Back in March, Mr. Todd says much remains to be done to reach the goal of halving road deaths and injuries by 2030.

“Connected vehicles are out of reach of those communities that are most affected by road vehicle accidents. Many countries ’infrastructure may not soon support autonomous driving. The cost of technology is still very high, ”he said.

The new initiative aims to intensify global AI efforts in the public and private sectors to improve the safety of all road users – traveling by automobile, motorcycle, bicycle, foot or other mode of transport.

For Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, the UN envoy for technology, the initiative is “a significant effort to focus on real-world technology issues that have a significant impact on people’s lives.”



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