THE Centre of Excellence for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in East Africa - CENIT@EA has innovated a Drowsiness Detector for Road Safety that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The innovation was recently made at the institution by three students at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) and will be capable of detecting when a driver is sleeping or drunk and send information to control room for an action.
In the advancement the students- Juvenarlys Khamis, Ange Josiane Uwayisenga and Josephine Mbandi teamed up with GIZ experts from Tanzania, Kenya and Morocco to submit a ground-breaking solution for road safety in the GIZ Innovation Fund 2020.
The trio being MSc in Embedded and Mobile Systems students sponsored by CENIT@ under the supervision of Dr Michael Kisangiri, at the faculty of NM-AIST, show the Drowsiness Detector scoring the first place in the Community Voting platform out of the 100 submitted ideas.
In the score, they were awarded 20,000 Euro to enable the team further develop and in advanced way test the innovation before it is shifted to the Management Board in December this year.
According to the World Health Organisation WHO (2020), around1.35 million people die annually due to road accidents against the Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda set to halve the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes.
That means the NM-AIST is acting in line with what WHO is projecting and will help Tanzania road users limit road accidents.
Statistics show that more than half of all road traffic deaths globally are confined to vulnerable road users, who are pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists, with 93 per cent occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
Studies show that drivers’ drowsiness has been one of the major causes of road accidents and can lead to deaths, severe physical injuries and significant economic losses.
Initially, Researchers have attempted to determine a driver’s drowsiness using some measures, which include vehicle-based measures and behavioural as well as physiological signs.
CENIT@EA was inaugurated at the NM-AIST by the Minister for Education Science and Technology of Tanzania, Professor Joyce Ndalichako in August 2018.