Santa Monica, California has begun testing AI ticketing cameras attached to buses in an effort to improve public services with advanced technologies. The cameras are used to check the road for illegally parked vehicles as the buses move through the city. The goal of the program, according to Robert McCall, the Community Engagement Manager for Santa Monica City, is not to issue citations, but to change behavior.
The city partnered with smart enforcement tech firm Hayden AI for the trial program. The cameras capture the license plates of cars parked in improper spots and send the data to a computer box on the bus. The server on the bus then uses artificial intelligence to analyze the photos and flag cars that are breaking the rules. Reports are then submitted to the authorities for tickets to be issued quickly.
During the 45-day trial, more than 500 potential violations were identified, costing roughly $300 each. However, the city has stated that the goal is not to make money from the program. Charlie Territo, a representative from Hayden AI, also emphasized that their company does not profit from the number of violations captured.
In addition to Santa Monica, other cities in California are also exploring AI applications for public transportation. San Francisco, for example, is running a pilot program for a driverless bus system on a fixed route called the Loop around Treasure Island. The all-electric vehicle has a human attendant on board to ensure passenger safety.
Tesla, the well-known electric car manufacturer, is also working on self-driving capabilities for its vehicles. CEO Elon Musk has promised significant upgrades to Tesla’s cars, including autopark, autosteer, and auto lane change features. Musk has also mentioned the development of an autonomous taxi service called the “Tesla Network,” which would operate similar to San Francisco’s driverless bus system.
While these AI projects are still being tested, they offer a glimpse into the future of public transportation. As technology continues to advance, more cities and countries may implement similar programs, revolutionizing the way people commute.