GW is partnering with an Arlington AI company to prevent health-induced car accidents - Technical.ly DC

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Feb. 19, 2021 11:14 am

GW is partnering with an Arlington AI company to prevent health-induced car accidents

The goal is for this work to result in the creation of a prototype of an in-vehicle, artificial intelligence-powered system that can predict health abnormalities like stress, fatigue, seizures and strokes.
A driving simulation powered by George Washington University’s civic engineering department.

A driving simulation powered by George Washington University's civic engineering department.

(Courtesy photo)

A local AI company is partnering with a professor from George Washington University (GW) to help prevent health-induced traffic accidents.

When Megan Gray was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 23, doctors told her she would never be able to drive again. After temporarily relying on friends, peers and rideshare companies to travel, she decided it was time to come up with a more permanent solution. This is the inspiration behind Moment AI, the Arlington, Virginia-based tech company founded by Gray that developed an AI-powered system to detect, monitor and analyze health conditions in drivers.

Gray will now be teaming up with GW’s Samer Hamdar, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and his team to launch a project focused on advancing her work at Moment AI.

“My first experience with seizures was triggered by stress and ultimately the disorder affected my ability to drive,” Gray said in a statement. “After spending some time researching advanced driver-assistance system technologies that could help detect my seizures, I started Moment AI. This collaboration with Dr. Hamdar will take us one step further and could help increase safety on the road.”

Hamdar is the director of the GW Transportation Engineering program’s Center for Intelligent Systems Research, where he works closely with students to study traffic flow, driver behaviors, pedestrian detection, transportation tech and more. Through this partnership, Hamdar and his team will take datasets using driver simulations to then train and test AI-powered systems in vehicles that can predict health abnormalities like stress, fatigue, seizures and strokes. Ultimately, Hamdar is hoping this work will result in the creation of a viable prototype of an in-vehicle AI-powered system that can detect these conditions and then take over control of a car to get drivers to safety.

“Mobility and certain core services should be available to all people, including those with health problems and demanding work environments,” Hamdar said. “Moment AI is a special project: It showcases the need for transportation equity and builds on a personal story to launch an academic/industry partnership that may have a significant impact on the lives of many in need.”

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Gray and Hamdar will share $140,000 over the next 20 months to advance their work, with more funding awards slated to roll in soon, they said.

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