Delivery driver safety is back in the spotlight, but this time, artificial intelligence (AI) could be the answer to help increase road safety. 

Imagine traffic lights that can detect when a motorcyclist is not wearing a safety helmet, refusing to turn green until the person follows the traffic rules.

This could make a huge difference in the safety of delivery drivers, motorists, and pedestrians. 

Generative AI posted this idea created by Al Echo on LinkedIn, prompting thousands of responses across the work. 

Mixed reaction to helmet-detecting traffic light

Many have hailed this as a great initiative with technology improving lives and believe this could be the force needed to ensure better road safety. Some are even suggesting that “seatbelt activate green light” could be a further step to increase road safety. 

Another person suggests using AI-powered smart cameras to detect when motorists use their cellphone while driving.

Not everyone thinks this is a positive contribution in which AI is scaling up the safety of public roads. 

“This is a terrible approach as it disturbs the traffic flow and leads to the rider simply ignoring the red light after a while.” There are questions about what a motorcyclist is supposed to do if they don’t have a helmet close by.

Others suggest going for speeding scanners instead to avoid inconveniencing other road users, also stuck behind a red traffic light for no reason. “The person should receive an e-ticket/fine,” reads another comment. 

Miguel Pagan, who describes himself as an AI and machine learning expert, is concerned about the “surveillance” of AI. “We can go from this application to something more intrusive in our privacy very quickly. Behind each innovation, there’s a profit motive behind it.”

Google using AI-powered traffic lights for data analysis

Three months ago, Google launched a ‘Green Light’ initiative to analyze traffic patterns and make recommendations that could improve the driver experience. It uses “sophisticated algorithms to study traffic patterns and real-time data.”

Google says it can reduce stops at traffic lights by 30%. 

Australia’s road safety concerns

According to the latest data released in December 2023, it was the “deadliest” year on Australia’s roads in more than five years. The Guardian reports that the road death toll reached a record high of 1,253 fatalities. 

According to the Australian government, in December alone, 118 people died on the road. This is usually seen as the busiest time for deliveries and logistics companies. Many businesses hire additional seasonal workers to get all the deliveries done before Christmas or the new year.  

Pedestrian TV reports that 15 delivery riders have died on the job, in the last seven years. The number of injuries reported seems to be close to a thousand, according to the publication.

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