Japan is facing an aging population. 20 million inhabitants are over 75 years old. To fight against accidents of “ vieux », a Japanese company will test an artificial intelligence system capable of detecting the decline in the cognitive abilities of drivers.
40% of Japanese will soon be over 65 years old
The land of the rising sun is facing a major demographic problem. In 2050, those over 65 will represent around 40% of its population. A challenge to which Japan is trying to respond through technology. There are more and more robots at home, in hospitals, in transport and little by little, artificial intelligence is finding its place alongside the elderly.
This development brings another problem: in Japan, older people have to deal with meager pensions. Which forces them to work later and later. For example, taxi drivers have the right to work until the age of 80 in remote areas of the country to allow residents to travel. More generally, a third of Japanese aged between 70 and 74 still have a professional activity.
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A societal phenomenon that pushes certain technological companies to develop new tools to support this evolution. This is precisely the case with NTT Data. This Japanese company will work with the taxi company Kokusai Motorcars, based in Tokyo, to test an artificial intelligence system on board vehicles. Its objective: to detect the missteps of elderly people while driving.
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The artificial intelligence system developed by NTT Data will analyze driving speed, acceleration and deceleration, and other data to “ inform drivers of a possible decline in their cognitive functions “. The company hopes to collect a large amount of data from dozens of taxis whose drivers are aged 65 or older. The experience will last six months in Japan.
The data will be collected by attaching sensors to the vehicles. The information collected will be sent in real time to artificial intelligence to measure driving behaviors. Depending on the results obtained, and “ in conjunction with the initial state of cognitive functions and the age of the driver “, the tool will determine whether the driver’s cognitive abilities are normal or declining.
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After this first experience, Japan could decide to democratize artificial intelligence on board automobiles. The algorithm will be marketed in particular in the taxi and logistics sectors, where, like the entire Japanese population, drivers are aging. Going forward, NTT Data promises that “ the system will be made available to all drivers ».
The increase in the number of elderly drivers in Japan is causing more and more accidents. Other experiments based on artificial intelligence are also underway in the country. In particular, there is technology that can examine the cognitive functions of older people by analyzing their facial expressions and eye movements to detect possible decline.
The demographic crisis that Japan is going through should lead us to think about the French model. Some Japanese prefer to go to prison rather than continue working on the grounds that they “ benefit from better living conditions in prison than in freedom “. A unique situation in the world in a country which seems overwhelmed by this “ wave of old “. It actually seems complicated to work until age 80. Leaving that aside, the idea of introducing an artificial intelligence system to “ to watch » the cognitive functions of drivers seems to me to be a good idea. We must deal with factual elements: the population is aging and therefore road accidents are increasing. If this AI can alert older people to possible missteps, I think it’s a good idea. Technology like this could, however, deprive some taxi drivers of their jobs.
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