Gardaí considering use of artificial intelligence for roads policing
The new technology can detect both mobile phone and seatbelt use.
An Garda Síochána are exploring the possibility of deploying new speed camera technology as part of a planned €100 million spend on new-traffic monitoring systems.
These new systems will be installed, maintained and operated by a private company, and not by the Gardaí.
The technology will also be capable of detecting if drivers are breaking traffic lights and if they are using bus lanes outside of designated times.
Currently, An Garda Síochána have a deal in place with a private provider named GoSafe, who operate approximately 1,400 safety camera zones across Ireland. Although, this technology is restricted to just monitoring the speed of vehicles.
Increased application of variable speed limits will also be a potential component of the new system, with variable checks already having been trialled along stretches of motorways such as the M7.
By monitoring the time it takes a vehicle to travel a certain distance, road safety authorities believe that a variable check can have a more pronounced impact on slowing cars down, as opposed to traditional speed cameras.
Dublin's Port Tunnel has also adopted this system in recent times, with a speed limit of 80km per hour enforced throughout the length of the tunnel, resulting in drivers being caught for speeding even if they obey the limit as they pass cameras.
The Gardaí have stated that it is actively exploring the market in the hopes of acquiring a private service for "the provision, installation, commissioning, maintenance and operation of safety cameras for the monitoring of speeds".
A €100 million contract over the course of six years is on offer for the successful candidate company, with An Garda Síochána adding that it will analyse the "opportunities for emerging technologies and innovation" before formally requesting tender.
The proposed artificial intelligence systems in question are already in use by several local police forces across both the UK and Australia.
At present, both driving without a seatbelt and the use of a mobile phone whilst driving command a €120 fine, with the latter also resulting in three penalty points.
The news of the potential systems update comes off the back of figures which highlighted a 13% increase in road deaths in Ireland during 2022, when compared to the previous year.
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