Limerick artificial intelligence project could end road carnage 

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Provizio founder and chief executive Barry Lunn

A CUTTING edge Limerick-based research company is teaming up with a local robotics company to find an artificial intelligence solution to preventing road accidents.

University of Limerick based software developers, Lero and the start-up automotive perception company Provizio are on a mission to eliminate some 1.35 million road crash deaths globally using AI and robotic technologies

Provizio founder and chief executive Barry Lunn said the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that annually, more than 1.35 million die in road traffic accidents, with more than 50 million people maimed, and the cost to the global economy is estimated to be just shy of €2 trillion annually.

“Preventable human error has a role in more than 90 per cent of road accidents. The numbers have not changed for more than 20 years. We started Provizio to solve this problem firstly, and then we will pave a path to safe, sustainable and ubiquitous autonomy.

“With the right focus, we believe that robotics and drivers can work together to reduce both road deaths and accidents to zero – 1.35 million to zero drives everything we do,” he said.

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Lero researchers Dr Ciarán Eising and Dr Pepijn Van de Ven, in association with Provizio, will use the data from onboard cameras and radar sensors to help eliminate traffic accidents for all drivers, human and robotic.

Dr Eisling said “Every decision to move that an autonomous car makes, based on its sensor inputs, is potentially a life or death one. The time-critical nature of the car’s operation means that only the car can make these decisions safely and reliably.

“A critical challenge to the successful deployment of autonomous vehicles is the difficulty the vehicle has in viewing and understanding the environment in which it must safely operate and understanding its location within that environment,” explains Dr Eising

Dr Van de Ven said they would be working with Provizio to deploy the technology on Provizio test vehicles and make developments commercially available to car manufacturers worldwide.