New cameras aim to detect drunk drivers on Australian roads

Groundbreaking technology is in the works to catch out drunk or drug-affected motorists who get behind the wheel.

Time is almost up for drivers who think they can get behind the wheel after a few too many drinks, with new technology set to clamp down on drunk and drug-affected motorists.

The Melbourne-based company that built cameras to detect when people are using their mobile phones, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt in NSW, Queensland, WA and the ACT, is now turning its attention to those under the influence.

Acusensus is hoping its groundbreaking artificial intelligence will be able to separate the impaired drivers from the rest and send off an alert to police. Officers would then pull the driver over for a random breath test and test them for alcohol or drugs.

A simulator of driving with the technology monitoring behaviour.
The technology, which is still in research phase, has been implemented into simulators to test the reflexes of drunk drivers. Source: Seven News

Tech would save 'hundreds of lives'

While it’s still in the research and development stage, the AI screening is hoped to one day be roadside, set up in fixed cameras or trailers. It would measure the attentiveness, reaction time, control and impairment level of motorists in real time.

In particular the 'Heads Up' tech, which is supported by the Federal Office of Road Safety and Griffith University, would be looking for drivers who speed, swerve or move out of their lanes.

Acusensus founder and manager director Alexander Jannink is confident the technology will drive down deaths on our roads.

“When you look at drivers who are involved in fatal accidents, 40 per cent of those drivers actually have drugs and alcohol in their system,” he told Seven News.

“If we can arm police with the right tools to fix and address this problem, those crashes will really come down, and in Australia hundreds of lives could be saved.”

Worldwide rollout of cameras planned

Once the impairment cameras are in operation around Australia, Mr Jannink is planning to take his tech overseas.

A close up of Alexander Jannick, the founder of Acesensus.
Alexander Jannick, the founder of Acesensus, is on a personal mission to improve road safety after losing his close friend to a road accident in 2013. Source: LinkedIn

The founder is on a mission to reduce road trauma around the world after his close friend was killed by a drug-affected driver while cycling in Los Angeles in 2013. The motorist had been using his mobile phone at the time. Business News Australia recently named Mr Jannink as one of Australia’s top 100 young entrepreneurs.

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