Auto-braking is becoming more common, but the tech is still evolving

One hope for reversing the growing death toll among pedestrians and cyclists lies in technology that senses crashes before they happen and avoids them. About half the new cars sold have automated emergency braking technology, and these systems have the potential to prevent thousands of crashes each year. But AEB in some cars is far from perfect, as a recent AAA report shows. Even under ideal conditions, the cars tested often hit pedestrian dummies.

Bellevue, WA, plans to use AI to leverage cameras for safety

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.

It’s not distracted walking that is killing NYC pedestrians

“[NYC]DOT found little concrete evidence that device-induced distracted walking contributes significantly to pedestrian fatalities and injuries.” So concludes a recent report examining whether device-distracted walkers are killing themselves by stepping out in front of motor vehicles. It’s dangerous driver behavior—speeding and failure to yield—that is killing pedestrians.

People weigh risk versus convenience in whether to use pedestrian bridges

Pedestrian bridges may help keep people away from heavy traffic, but only if people are willing to use them. And that often isn’t the case, according to a new study in Accident Analysis & Prevention. People will cross at street level to avoid tall or narrow, constrained bridges, according to the study, and they usually take extra precautions when crossing at street level.

Invisible women

Research and design are based on a test case human who stands in for the broader population. The default human that is the basis for research and design projects is usually a white adult male. As a result, projects often come to conclusions that do not address the needs of women, and some that are outright dangerous. Transportation projects and priorities are not immune to this bias.

AVs: Some intersections may get more dangerous before they get safer

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.