Three heavyweights, GC, FRONTIS, and Microsoft, join together to kick off ‘AI for Road Safety’ project with an improved strategy to reduce accidents using AI technology

 |   Thornthawat Thongnab

PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited, or GC, has teamed up with FRONTIS and Microsoft to roll out the “AI for Road Safety” initiative, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to perform real-time video and big data analytics to track drowsy drivers, monitor driver behavior, promote road safety, and increase the efficiency of transport management systems. By intelligently revealing previously unseen patterns in day-to-day commuting, complete with context from time and location data, the project aims to help reduce road accidents in Thailand.

Mr. Supattanapong Punmeechaow, President and Chief Executive Officer of PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (GC), said a 2017 study showed that Thailand’s road accident rate is the highest in the world, and Rayong is among the top five provinces with the highest number of fatalities resulting from road accidents. “60% of public transport accidents is caused by speeding and drowsy drivers, which can be addressed through preventive measures. GC, a leading innovation and chemical company, is committed to creating better living and recognizes this important issue. We teamed up with FRONTIS, a consulting firm that provides businesses with strategic planning and innovative technologies, and Microsoft, the world’s leading technology company, to develop a platform that promotes road safety through the ‘AI for Road Safety’ project, which falls under GC’s digital transformation strategy,” he said.

“Road accidents are a major problem that often result in loss of life and property, as well as physical and emotional injuries. GC, which is committed to providing better living for its employees, has many personnel who travel to Rayong area and between Bangkok and Rayong. We are deploying advanced technologies including video analytics, big data analytics, and AI to ensure their safety and security by monitoring driver behavior, increasing safety, and reducing risks that lead to accidents. GC is a pioneering company in Thailand by applying AI technology to our transport management system for a more effective and standardized service,” added Mr. Supattanapong.

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Mr. Prin Boondiskulchok, Managing Partner of FRONTIS, said, “AI technology now plays an integral role in addressing social issues while supporting organizational goals. Road accidents can be reduced by analyzing driver behavior using AI technology in 4 steps:  1) Tracking and monitoring driver behavior to detect drowsiness, distraction, speeding, and vehicle location through video analytics and Internet of Things (IoT);  2) Transmitting big data into the Cloud platform to process with AI technology;  3) If risks are detected, the system alerts the driver and fleet manager; and 4) Analyze the safety risks and driver behavior with the Fleet Management Dashboard to prevent future risks as well as optimize fleet efficiency.”

These integrated technologies are expected to help improve the transport system operator’s performance by using intelligence from big data in several areas such as daily performance management, boosting long-term efficiency, proactive accident prevention, reducing environmental impact, and contributing to sustainability in Thai society.

“To reduce the number of road accidents, FRONTIS is committed to developing innovations that meet both social and economic goals.  We collaborate closely with GC, using Design Thinking Approach to create a process to monitor and study driver behavior and transport system management. AI technology and big data were applied to design solutions to address speeding and driver drowsiness and deliver a management plan for the transport system manager throughout the Project – executed with an agile approach which rapidly deploys and refine the system to in a constant learning loop and we chose to use Microsoft’s platform as the best-in-class technology to help develop our system with agility. The Solution is now ready to use, and we are confident that it will help support drivers and transport system managers to reduce the number of accidents in the near future,” said Mr. Prin.

Mr. Dhanawat Suthumpun, Managing Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, said, “The fleet management and driver monitoring solution is based on Cognitive Services, a range of services on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform that use artificial intelligence and machine learning to tackle business challenges through the ability to understand and process the world around us. The ‘AI for Road Safety’ project uses the Cognitive Services Face API (application programming interface), which can detect, recognize, identify, and even read emotions from faces.

With 39 APIs available on the platform, including eight in preview and 12 in development, Azure Cognitive Services enable developers to quickly and effectively build intelligent capabilities into apps and solutions for various purposes, from the facial data analysis used in this project to automated content moderation for websites, understanding natural written and spoken languages, on-the-fly visual indexing of pictures and videos, and much more.

“We are proud to see Azure empower innovations such as the ‘AI for Road Safety’ project in Thailand, as well as others around the world,” said Mr. Dhanawat. “The Power Face API in Azure Cognitive Services allows high-precision facial recognition and analysis to be carried out reliably in real time and on the go, with the capacity to support an even larger fleet of vehicles and drivers. Throughout development, the platform’s flexibility gave GC and FRONTIS room to design and configure the solution to exactly match the intended use cases, while industry-leading security and privacy standards ensure that the live facial capture feed is protected from misuse.”

Experience the advanced road safety and fleet management capabilities of the ‘AI for Road Safety’ project as part of the Microsoft booth at the Digital Thailand Big Bang 2018 event at Challenger Hall, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, from September 19 to 23.