Hebei Province unveiled its first batch of robot traffic enforcers in Handan, amplifying the level of advancement China has in terms of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data. The town's Public Security Bureau (PSB) explained that there are three types of robot police to help improve order in Handan roads.
According to the Global Times, China has been building on its high-tech innovations focused on daily work by the police. The goal of the project is to assist local authorities in enforcing public laws that every citizen is expected to abide by.
One of the robotic enforcers, the Road Patrol Robot, captures illegal behavior by a driver who violates traffic laws. The robot's automatic navigation system will store the data for referencing by the authorities. This particular robot will also remind jaywalkers to follow pedestrian rules.
The Accident Warning Robot, on the other hand, will alert oncoming vehicles if traffic accidents are being dealt with by the police some meters ahead. This way, passing cars can opt for other roads if they are in a rush.
Finally, the Advice Traffic Robot will be placed in stations where vehicle management processes are being performed. This robot will guide people to management counters and answer some relevant questions.
According to PBS, the robot police fleet will be available 24/7 and should have more high-tech functions focused on traffic management as the robots were manufactured to assist enforcers in their daily duties.
Before Hebei's traffic robots were unveiled this week, many Chinese cities already started adopting robotic processes such as checking tickets for travelers and facial recognition systems for faster travel documents processing.
Meanwhile, tech experts continue to be invested largely in China's drive towards integrating AI into its educational system. According to an MIT Review article last week, millions of Chinese students are utilizing some sort of AI to stimulate learning.
For example, one of the most popular forms of AI education in China is allowing an "intelligent" program to curate tutoring lessons for students. The country's educational AI project is the biggest yet around the world.
AI ventures have been increasing over the past few years in China. Last month, it was revealed that in 2018, China and the U.S. topped the list of countries that saw increased venture capital (VC) investments in artificial intelligence.
Two of the world's largest economies accounted for over 60 percent of the world's total VC investments last year, further triggering debates about an unspoken rivalry between the two countries in terms of dominating in high-end technologies.