Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SAFEPED Helps Cities Fix Dangerous Intersections

13.09.2011
TAU researchers develop program to identify traffic "black spots"

Traffic planners and engineers worry about “black spots” — intersections that experience a high incidence of traffic accidents. But when it comes to designing safer roads, they lack effective tools to determine what turns a junction into a danger zone for cars and pedestrians alike.


Now Ph.D. student Gennady Waizman of Tel Aviv University’s Geosimulation Lab at the Department of Geography and the Human Environment and Porter School of Environmental Science has developed SAFEPED, a computer simulation that integrates robotics and statistics on driver and pedestrian behavior to determine the environmental features which lead to these black spots. Based on real-world data, SAFEPED is more true-to-life than other computer traffic models.

SAFEPED allows traffic planners and engineers to analyze and fix dangerous intersections. It also permits these engineers to test and rearrange the architecture of a planned junction and design it for optimal safety. The model has been presented at the Transportation Research Board Conference on Safety and Mobility in Jerusalem, and this July at the Geocomputation 2011 conference in London.

Countdown to collision

SAFEPED considers each car and pedestrian an autonomous “agent,” with the ability to reason and react based on its individual predictions of how surrounding agents will behave. This is a significant improvement on other computer models of traffic, which do not account for the human ability to see the world in three dimensions, predict the actions of others, and react accordingly.

“Because drivers and pedestrians behave according to the same habits and rules at any intersection they approach,” Waizman explains, “we presumed that the problem lay in the environment. With this program, we can model a real intersection in the simulator, and make modifications to the environment or traffic regulations to see how they impact the safety of the junction.”

But the researchers knew that it was not enough to place traditional robotic agents into the environment. Such non-thinking robots could not give them an accurate indication of how a changed traffic architecture could affect accident rates. Instead, Waizman’s team based their simulator on a theory of visual perception developed by the cognitive scientist James J. Gibson. When humans move through a given environment, Gibson theorized, they analyze their “optic flow” as they move, taking into account their anticipated time of collision with other objects or people.

Averting a crash before it happens

In SAFEPED, all agents move and think individually, and they determine their actions based on visibility and the movement of the other agents. Depending on what they perceive and predict, agents slow down, accelerate, or divert. The researchers can see an accident from the viewpoint of any agent to determine where visibility was impaired or an agent made a wrong decision. They can also rewind a virtual accident and determine if a change in regulations or architecture could have averted the crash.

The agents’ behavior is based on traffic statistics provided by the Israeli police force and on hours of observation by M.A. student Eilon Blank-Baron, who recorded videos of intersections, analyzed the behavior of the moving drivers and pedestrians, and integrated the resulting data into SAFEPED to make the simulator more realistic. Two synchronized cameras observed how cars and pedestrians reacted to one another.

The SAFEPED research has already led to many important findings. The probability that pedestrians will cross a busy road, for example, is based on how they estimate the velocity of an approaching car. If they believe the car will cross the intersection in less than 2.5 seconds, people will not cross. At 5.5 or 6 seconds, however, most people will cross the road. It also found that the further back a white stop line is set in an intersection, the smaller the chance that a pedestrian will be struck by a car.

Waizman’s and Blank-Baron’s research is supervised by Prof. Itzhak Benenson of TAU’s Department of Geography and Human Environment and Prof. Shraga Shoval of the Ariel University Center.

George Hunka | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aftau.org
http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=15227

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Computational high-throughput screening finds hard magnets containing less rare earth elements

Permanent magnets are very important for technologies of the future like electromobility and renewable energy, and rare earth elements (REE) are necessary for their manufacture. The Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM in Freiburg, Germany, has now succeeded in identifying promising approaches and materials for new permanent magnets through use of an in-house simulation process based on high-throughput screening (HTS). The team was able to improve magnetic properties this way and at the same time replaced REE with elements that are less expensive and readily available. The results were published in the online technical journal “Scientific Reports”.

The starting point for IWM researchers Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel, and Christian Elsässer was a neodymium-iron-nitrogen compound based on a type of...

Im Focus: Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips

In the Beyond EUV project, the Fraunhofer Institutes for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen and for Applied Optics and Precision Engineering IOF in Jena are developing key technologies for the manufacture of a new generation of microchips using EUV radiation at a wavelength of 6.7 nm. The resulting structures are barely thicker than single atoms, and they make it possible to produce extremely integrated circuits for such items as wearables or mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.

In 1965 Gordon Moore formulated the law that came to be named after him, which states that the complexity of integrated circuits doubles every one to two...

Im Focus: Researchers demonstrate size quantization of Dirac fermions in graphene

Characterization of high-quality material reveals important details relevant to next generation nanoelectronic devices

Quantum mechanics is the field of physics governing the behavior of things on atomic scales, where things work very differently from our everyday world.

Im Focus: Graphene: A quantum of current

When current comes in discrete packages: Viennese scientists unravel the quantum properties of the carbon material graphene

In 2010 the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded for the discovery of the exceptional material graphene, which consists of a single layer of carbon atoms...

Im Focus: Transparent - Flexible - Printable: Key technologies for tomorrow’s displays

The trend-forward world of display technology relies on innovative materials and novel approaches to steadily advance the visual experience, for example through higher pixel densities, better contrast, larger formats or user-friendler design. Fraunhofer ISC’s newly developed materials for optics and electronics now broaden the application potential of next generation displays. Learn about lower cost-effective wet-chemical printing procedures and the new materials at the Fraunhofer ISC booth # 1021 in North Hall D during the SID International Symposium on Information Display held from 22 to 27 May 2016 at San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

Economical processing

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Networking 4.0: International Laser Technology Congress AKL’16 Shows New Ways of Cooperations

24.05.2016 | Event News

Challenges of rural labor markets

20.05.2016 | Event News

International expert meeting “Health Business Connect” in France

19.05.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

LZH shows the potential of the laser for industrial manufacturing at the LASYS 2016

25.05.2016 | Trade Fair News

Great apes communicate cooperatively

25.05.2016 | Life Sciences

Thermo-Optical Measuring method (TOM) could save several million tons of CO2 in coal-fired plants

25.05.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>