Photo/IllutrationArtificial intelligence analyzes the motions of a driver’s eyes and eyelids based on images collected by a car-mounted camera on June 4 in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward. (Naoko Murai)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Backseat drivers are rarely welcome, but this one is almost certain to save lives.

Online service provider DeNa Co. introduced its AI-based Drive Chart service on June 4, targeting taxi and truck companies, following a spate of reckless driving incidents across Japan in recent months.

The system analyzes images from vehicle-mounted cameras and acceleration sensor data, and urges motorists to drive more carefully to prevent collisions.

While cab operator Keio Jidousha Co. and trucking firm Hitachi Transport System Ltd., along with other vehicle operators, will start using the system, DeNA is also looking to pitch Drive Chart to vehicle rental firms and private vehicle owners in the future.

The system consists of dedicated car-mounted equipment and cloud computing technology.

Data collected by the on-board device on vehicle speed, distance from other vehicles, eye and eyelid movement of the driver, and other factors are analyzed by AI through the cloud system.

Dangerous actions, such as suddenly accelerating and braking, along with the vehicle’s location and videos of driving, are monitored through recording, so that driving instructions can be provided to the person at the wheel.

In a six-month verification test that ended last autumn and covered 100 cabs and 500 trucks, traffic accidents were slashed by 25 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

Repair and other costs associated with accidents were also cut by 40 to 90 percent, according to DeNA officials.

DeNA is planning to add to the system an alarm feature to prevent collisions and nodding off at the wheel.

“The strength of our product is its higher ability to detect risks compared with conventional driving monitors,” said Hiroshi Nakajima, head of DeNA’s automotive department.