Traffic Turns to Technology: How Innovation is Making our Roads Safer

by | May 18, 2022

Red light runners are capable of causing some of the worst accidents, usually because they are going at a high rate of speed when they t-bone the other vehicle. Red light cameras may catch a runner, but it does nothing to prevent a crash. So how do you prevent a catastrophe at an intersection?

Technology to the rescue! Lakeland will be spending half a million dollars to try and make intersections safer through the use of AI algorithms. Sensors will measure the speed of a vehicle and, if it seems that vehicle is going to run a red light, the sensor will tell the intersection to keep cross-traffic’s light red for a few seconds longer. Tests of this program have already been done and, of a total of 45 red light runners, there were ZERO crashes.

That sounds impressive, and it’s not the last of the tech to be used. In fact, algorithm-based traffic safety programs are either being developed, or have already been used out in the real world.

Intersection sensors have been used for some time now to try and prevent traffic from building up if there are cars waiting at a red light. But, for the past several years, companies have been working on a way to use updated sensors and cameras to move traffic lights off of a timer-based system, and into a real-time system. The cameras and sensors, with the use of AI algorithms, will recognize what is going on in the road, and change traffic patters to keep the flow smooth. It can even detect pedestrians and emergency vehicles and change the lights to keep everyone safe.

While these systems won’t completely remove the dangers of driving, it is certainly a step in the right direction if they work as intended.

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