Driverless cars are not as space age as we might think; indeed, last year saw a number of manufacturers – including Lexus, BMW and Mercedes – developing automated technology. For those who like a tipple, this could be seen as offering the perfect ride home. However, it’s not all plain sailing for those after-work drinkers as tech giant Huawei is developing a system that will be able to identify a drunk driver and report his or her behaviour to the police.
The system uses a “self-learning” cabin that effectively stops drivers from driving off when over the limit while disabling the driverless features. A whole raft of questions about drink and driverless driving are coming up related to the topic of autonomous driving – not the least of which are its effects on motor trade insurance – but it’s safe to say that experts all agree that whether driving or not, being in possession of a vehicle when drunk will remain an offense.
The strong arm of the law
Self-driving cars are under stringent review, with laws governing them being reviewed by the government. Trialing in London, the aim is to bring driverless technology to the streets of London by 2021.
Insurance is likely to be affected; quotes such as those at www.quotemetoday.co.uk/motor-trade-insurance/ will need to adjust accordingly to fit in with the newly regulated driverless technology.
Advances in technology
Huawei’s system would be alerted not just to a drunk driver but also to somebody who is tired, not paying attention, road raging or texting. Unveiled in a European patent, the technology harnesses the power of artificial intelligence when making its decisions on whether a driver is fit for purpose. Each time the driver sets off, it will take both videos and photos and will, therefore, learn normal behaviors from the driver, allowing it to ascertain when things aren’t quite the norm and alert its controls when this happens. Cleverly, the software will be trained to spot unusual items such as weapons, drugs, and alcohol and will regularly cross-reference from its library of images and videos to determine safety levels and make sure that the driver is able within the confines of the driverless vehicle.
Huawei’s system is based on learning about the driver and is backed up by some pretty smart software.