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Google helps road safety charity iRAP advance SDGs in Vietnam

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is receiving a grant of US$2 million and additional support from Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, to enhance the safety of children’s journeys to school.

iRAP is one of 15 organizations selected to receive support through Google.org’s “AI for the Global Goals Impact Challenge.” This program allocates US$25 million for projects using artificial intelligence (AI) to accelerate progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

With the support of AI, satellite imagery, and Street-View images to detect road safety risks, iRAP will conduct a country-wide star rating assessment of road infrastructure around schools in Vietnam and support upgrades at the highest-risk schools. iRAP’s activities are carried out in collaboration with AIP Foundation, Anditi, and the University of Zagreb.

iRAP’s road safety star rating methodology, ranging from the least safe 1-star to the safest 5-star, provides a free, simple measure of the level of road safety for motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Rob McInerney, CEO of iRAP, said, “By using AI to identify high-risk 1- and 2-star roads that children use on their journey to school, we can identify known hazards and mobilize evidence-based upgrades that will save children’s lives.”

McInerney emphasized that the AI-enabled Star Rating for Schools partnership with Google.org will support children’s mobility and contribute to at least eight of the UN Global Goals.

In particular, UN SDG target 3.6 aims to halve road deaths and injuries by 2030, and member states have agreed on voluntary targets to improve road infrastructure safety to meet the iRAP 3-star or better global standard.

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