How Miovision is helping make roads safer, one intersection at a time

Whether you’re walking, cycling, driving, or using public transportation to get to your destination, we all share the same roadways, and ultimately share the same goal: getting there safely.

Cities all over the world are beginning to implement plans to achieve Vision Zero. But, they all face a common challenge: a complete lack of data. Accurate traffic data can help cities identify safety hazards, determine what behaviors are causing safety risks on roadways, and give them the ability to measure the impact of their countermeasures. We’re working on new technology that will give safety teams the insights they need to drive real change in their cities.

Traditional safety data collection methods are painfully slow

Unfortunately, most traffic teams today are forced to use crash data to assess the safety of an intersection – and even that information doesn’t tell them enough on its own.

That’s because data regresses to the mean, year over year (YoY). So, even when no countermeasures are applied at an intersection, the number of collisions that happen there YoY will naturally fluctuate. Therefore, a decrease (or increase) in crashes YoY does not necessarily mean safety has improved (or declined). For this reason, cities have had to traditionally measure traffic collisions for several years before and after any safety measures are implemented in order to quantify the effect of their effects accurately.

But, this approach presents a very real problem for cities: while they wait for crash data to come in, injuries and fatalities can occur.

The Miovision approach to safety

With our launch of our ground-breaking technology showcase, the World’s Smartest Intersection in Detroit, Michigan, we’re taking the first steps to transform the industry’s approach to safer streets. As GOVERNING magazine explains, “Five years ago, nobody would have mistaken Detroit’s stoplights for being ‘smart.’” Now, Miovision technology has allowed the City of Detroit to take “significant steps toward creating some of the smartest intersections in the country.”

With multimodal detection inherent in the Miovision TrafficLink solution, intersections will be able to recognize the presence of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. Combined with data from the controller, this will unlock a brand new set of pedestrian-centric safety analysis metrics.

We know that for every crash there are 100 near-misses. And, for every near-miss, there are 100 or more dangerous actions or safety hazards. They can tell you almost as much about a road hazard as crash data. This new field of surrogate safety data will allow cities to quickly identify where dangerous intersections are before anyone gets hurt. It also means being able to quantify the changes made to solve these problems with before and after safety studies.

“The video, it’s talking to you,” says Mark de la Vergne, Detroit’s chief of mobility innovation. “Before you would just get numbers. Now, we know where they are crossing. We know when they are crossing. We know how many people are driving through a red light. That’s going to help us inform a lot of our work in the next few years.”

Want to know more? Join our webinar to learn more about the technology behind the World’s Smartest Intersection.