Bold Business Logo

Driving into the Future: Transportation AI and Automated Driving Tests

Getting a driver’s license is often considered a rite of passage. But in many areas of the world, resources for administering driver examinations are limited – too many applicants, not enough instructors. However, that may soon be a thing of the past. Thanks to a research team at Microsoft, automated driving license testing options may greatly improve driver opportunities. Through the use of transportation AI systems, both quality and accessibility to driver testing will likely advance.

For countries like India, attaining a driver’s license is harder than you might think. In recent surveys, more than half of the regions failed to offer driver license testing. The scarcity of these services stems from the fact that evaluators and testing resources are in short supply. And these resources are associated with significant expenses. As a result, an automated driving test system that eliminates the need for evaluators is attractive. And by using transportation AI platforms, driver assessments can be more accurately made. Such systems have potential not only in countries like India but also in nearly every place where drivers exist.

a photo quote of Shri Shailesh Bagauli in relation to the topic of automated driving tests and transportation AI
Ten years ago, Microsoft deployed a team to work on HAMS (“Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety”).

Transportation AI Technology Offers New Options

Roughly a decade ago, Microsoft deployed a research team to begin working on an automated driving test system. The automated driving platform was called HAMS, which stands for “Harnessing AutoMobiles for Safety”. Initially, HAMS was to serve as an automated driving instruction to improve driver training and overall safety. But the researchers soon expanded the transportation AI platform to conduct automated driving tests. In the past months, HAMS has now been employed in parts of India, assessing drivers’ abilities. In fact, in places like Uttarakhand, HAMS now performs automated driving licensing testing without the need for evaluators.

As a transportation AI system, HAMS utilizes a driver’s smartphone to conduct its automated driving license tests. Through the use of a smartphone’s front and rear cameras as well as other sensors, both vehicle and driver assessments can be made. For example, the transportation AI system monitors driver gaze, the road, vehicle trajectory, and a variety of vehicle movements. Depending on the driver’s performance, HAMS then recommends whether or not the automated driving test was completed successfully.

a photo quote of Venkat Padmanabhan in relation to the topic of automated driving tests and transportation AI
In recent months, HAMS has been employed in parts of India to assess drivers’ abilities.

Automated Driving License Testing Doesn’t Mean Lower Quality

Some may presume an automated driving testing platform may allow an easier path toward attaining a license. That is certainly not the case for HAMS. Based on current statistics, the pass-fail rate using this transportation AI platform is about 50 percent. Because HAMS was initially designed to enhance driver safety, it actually increases driver awareness of proper driving techniques. And with a view from within the vehicle, HAMS provides a more practical assessment of a driver’s driving ability.

In addition to these quality-enhancing benefits, HAMS also provides additional advantages as a transportation AI platform. Specifically, HAMS can more effectively handle disputes if drivers feel they were inaccurately assessed. The automated driving test can be viewed by the driver afterward to highlight errors made. Therefore, HAMS offers a more objective and transparent process by which automated driving evaluations are handled.

a photo quote of Venkat Padmanabhan in relation to the topic of automated driving tests
HAMS can more effectively handle disputes if drivers feel they were inaccurately assessed.

The Rise of Transportation AI Systems

Automated driving tests are simply the latest among various transportation AI systems currently available today. In Europe, highway speeds are already being controlled through automated cameras and license plate detectors. The same is being tested in some states in highway work zones. In addition, Utility Inc.—in collaboration with Sony Imaging—has recently introduced automated or automatic license plate readers (ALPRs). These are being considered not only for law enforcement vehicles but also for parking lots, garages and some intersections.

cartoon of a man learning how to drive with a robot beside him giving him an automated driving test
With transportation AI and automated driving tests, accessibility to driver license testing will likely advance. What does that mean for soon-to-be drivers?

Without question, automated driving systems and transportation AI offers many benefits. They have the potential to reduce resource use while simultaneously advancing quality. And in some cases, they provide greater accessibility and opportunity for individuals while also promoting safety. The HAMS system is an excellent example of the potential these transportation AI systems offer. And given their initial success, it is likely these automated driving tools will become an increasing part of our lives.

Apps for Female Health and the Growing Femtech Sector

Female Apps Infographic

Apps for Female Health and the Growing Femtech Sector Infographic

“Femtech”. Investors caught a waft and, ever since, have been following its sweet scent. Female technology ( a.k.a. femtech) in the form of wearable devices and apps for female health has been receiving substantial investments as of late. Apart from venture capitalist money, femtech investors—such as Portfolia and Astarte Ventures—are also diving in the sector. In 2018, female health-focused ventures received almost $400 million in total funding—making the year 2018 a landmark year for the burgeoning space.

Accordingly, as more and more women are investing in their overall health and well-being, the demand for female health-focused technology increases. From menstrual and fertility trackers to pelvic floor workout devices, the growing number of apps for female health underscores the sector’s potential. By the year 2025, femtech is projected to reach a market share of $50 billion.

Fusing all the elements together—the influx of funding, availability of technology, and growing market demand—there’s no doubt that female health-focused technology is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Why Now: Behind the Rise of the Femtech Sector

In truth, societies need to do more when it comes to addressing gender parity issues. Regrettably, female health is one of the areas receiving the least attention. Women have always been hounded by female health issues, such as fertility, postpartum recovery, and menopause. Yet, research and studies about these topics are far and few. However, with the growing femtech sector and the rise of apps for female health, we see significant shifts.

cartoon of a woman looking at female health apps on her phone while a female genie rises from the phone and high-fives her
It’s true that female health apps are on the rise, making a bold impact on female technology. So, what does this fact mean for women and society in general?

Undoubtedly, various factors contributed to this movement. With more educated and empowered women, societies are seeing a tilt in the balance of power. In universities, women are outnumbering men. Similarly, areas and roles formerly reserved for men are now accessible to women. Also, more women are rising to the top tier of businesses and organizations. With social issues, women are finding their voice through social media and movements calling for women empowerment. Consequently, with more opportunities and decision-making powers available to women, issues previously set aside are now being brought forward.

a photo quote of Gina Bartasi in relation to the topic of apps for female health available today
Female health-focused technology is finally getting the attention it deserves!

Apps for Female Health and Bold Businesses in the Femtech Sector

The term female technology or femtech was coined in 2016 by Ida Tin—co-founder of one of the notable apps for female health, Clue. By this time, the sector had already established a firm footing in the startup world. Jumping to 53 deals in 2016 from just nine deals in 2012, femtech was on a high growth spur. Today, the number of startups addressing female health issues is growing, and apps for female health are on the rise.

  • Kindbody is a full-service fertility clinic. With a mission to democratize women’s health and fertility care, Kindbody offers a suite of fertility services. Its services include fertility assessment, in-vitro fertilization, egg and embryo freezing, and egg thawing and transferring.
  • Eve by Glow is an excellent app for tracking monthly cycles. It can forecast ovulation and fertility days and show trends and patterns in easy-to-read charts. The app’s other salient features include tracking of sex, moods and PMS symptoms. You can download the app for free in Android and iOS.
  • Wearable device FitBit has a Female Health Tracking app. It is one of the most requested features of FitBit, and the wearer can monitor her monthly cycle and uncover changes in symptoms with it. The device also provides insights on how the wearer’s monthly cycle can have an impact on sleeping and eating patterns and other daily activities.
  • Flo Period and Ovulation Tracker has been ranked as the No. 1 period tracker in the U.S. and among the most downloaded apps for female health according to its website. Users who are trying to conceive can use the app to predict ovulation schedules.
  • Launched in 2013, Clue is one of the earliest apps for female health to be introduced in the market. The app primarily tracks the user’s period, PMS and fertility window. However, this app for female health can also track other categories, such as sex, sleep, pain, emotion, and energy.
a photo containing the logos of companies or brands that address female health issues or have produced apps for female health
For sure, the number of startups addressing female health issues is growing.

And The List for Great Apps for Female Health Continues

  • DOT Fertility Tracker, developed by Cycle Technologies, uses an algorithm to predict the user’s fertile days within the monthly cycle. The user just needs to enter the start date of the cycle, and the app can give accurate predictions for the next six months.
  • Nurx believes that good sexual health is fundamental. With that in mind, Nurx offers a line of services that puts women in control of their sexual health. Certainly, services, such as ordering Birth Control Pills, STI Home Test Kits, Emergency Contraception Kits, and HPV Screening Kits, make female healthcare affordable and hassle-free.
  • Check Yourself! Breast Cancer Detection App works by sending a reminder to the user every month to proactively check for lumps. Like with other cancer types, early detection spells a world of difference in survival rates. Easy-to-download and -use, the app even provides a step-by-step guide on how to do the self-check.
  • Elvie is a pioneer when it comes to smart technology for women. Its flagship products include the Elvie Silent Wearable Breast Pump and the Elvie Pelvic Floor Trainer. Through smart technology, Elvie is empowering women to pursue their goals no matter their stage of life.
  • Maven is a telehealth app focused on women’s health. The app provides access to over 1,400 practitioners—including OB-GYNS, mental health experts, nutritionists and wellness coaches. As one of the foremost apps for female health, Maven Clinic has secured a total of $42 million in funding to date.
a photo quote of Katherine Ryder in relation to the topic of apps for female health available today
Demand for female health-focused technology has been steadily increasing.

It’s a Woman’s World, Too!

Women are taking the reins and changing the narrative around female health and wellness. As female health issues are now more openly discussed, the femtech sector plays a crucial role in this change. Through services, devices, and apps for female health, women have access to solutions for their fundamental health concerns.

While femtech is focused on women, it is worth noting that the rest of society benefits, too. Indeed, thanks to femtech, we are on our way to a reality where women are as empowered and as vigorous as their male counterparts. With the rise of apps for female health, we are taking the right steps toward gender parity. After all, it’s a woman’s world, too.