The contribution of intelligent technologies to road safety
Traffic has become a major modern world problem. In many major cities and on highways and interstates, traffic is grinding to a halt for hours on a daily basis. At the same time, traffic violations are not decreasing.
Did you know that 1.35 million people die on the word’s roads every year and road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for young people (5-29 years)?
While traffic apps will help commuters to get to work on time, they are not an overall solution to traffic congestion and road safety. Connected and self-driving vehicles will ultimately solve our traffic problems, but these smart solutions will only come into wide use sometime in the future.
What is needed is intelligent technologies that can reduce traffic jams and make traveling safer. These technologies, like video surveillance cameras and remote monitoring, can provide real-time coverage producing pre-warnings of traffic build-up, the number of vehicles, vehicle speeds, vehicle number plates and road incidents.
Traffic video surveillance
Traffic cameras use video surveillance technology to record traffic patterns on busy roads and at busy intersections. Traffic cameras can record traffic patterns for later analysis or observe and monitor traffic as it happens.
An intelligent traffic surveillance system can use all the aggregated data to change traffic light signals creating smoother traffic flows. The result is fewer bottlenecks and traffic that flows better not to speak of happier commuters who can get to their destinations on time.
Benefits of road safety surveillance
The many incidents that can be detected by traffic surveillance cameras can make the roads safer for commuters. Video technology can detect more than speeding. It can detect reckless driving, illegal parking, ignoring a red traffic light, driving up a one-way street, making an illegal U-turn and more. Many of these actions can cause accidents and contribute to road congestion. Smart camera technology can help to minimize these events.
Leveraging artificial intelligence and deep learning, smart surveillance cameras can forward details about these events to authorities who can take immediate action. In this way, traffic officers will know when and where someone is parking illegally or probably driving under the influence of alcohol.
Another unexpected benefit of better traffic flow thanks to smart camera use, is the conservation of existing roads and intersections that don’t have to be rebuilt to accommodate increasing traffic. Reconstruction of roads to accommodate increasing traffic is very expensive. If advanced technologies can help to make traffic flow smoother, the reconstruction works become unnecessary.
When motorists are aware that traffic cameras are measuring driving speeds fatal car accidents and serious injuries drop significantly. The UK Department for Transport estimated that cameras had led to a 22% reduction in personal injury collisions and 42% fewer people being killed or seriously injured at camera sites.
A great benefit of information sharing by traffic surveillance camera, is the use of this information to inform drivers of traffic conditions and what they can expect ahead. This gives commuters an option to take an alternative route if one is available. A timely accident alert can be the difference between a slightly longer trip home and hours stuck in a traffic jam.
Surveillance cameras on the roads can also spot criminal activity like car highjacks or break-ins and alert traffic personnel. This information can save lives.
To further increase the benefit of their surveillance systems, cities can employ solar-powered camera systems that reduce costs and are environment friendly.
Traffic video data has become invaluable. Traffic surveillance systems reduce congestion and time spent on the road, improve traffic flow and make the roads safer. The inclusion of artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies like deep learning it will further enhance traffic safety.