Agencies that aspire to achieve zero traffic fatalities need to know where to invest for the biggest crash reductions. Advances in artificial intelligence are allowing DOTs to leverage their existing camera technology in order to extract large quantities of data that can then inform decisions about how to improve or control intersections. The city of Bellevue, WA, recently announced a plan to study footage from its traffic cameras in order to “analyze the correlation between past collisions” and near misses, according to a press release.
Many imagine a future with fleets of autonomous vehicles seamlessly traversing road networks, wirelessly connected, perfectly aware of their surroundings and other vehicles, expertly avoiding conflicts. But what happens during the transition from manually-driven to fully-autonomous cars? As the share of AVs increases, some intersections may get more dangerous before they get safer, says a new paper by Australian researchers.
The promise of smart intersection technology goes beyond increased operational efficiency and encompasses its potential to improve safety for all road users, including those using the crosswalk. But it does not fulfill this promise if it is only used to reduce congestion and travel times for autos. Smart intersections depend on smart policy to realize the full range of benefits they offer.
Cities across the U.S. are once again installing a formerly-common intersection treatment: the “Barnes Dance” or pedestrian scramble, which allows pedestrian movements in all directions simultaneously, including diagonally. A new installation in Washington, D.C., demonstrates both the advantages and limitations of this solution to facilitate pedestrian movement in dense urban areas.
Kansas City, Missouri, is facing public backlash after embarking on a project to replace 144 of its aging traffic signals with stop signs at intersections where traffic has declined.