A program that can identify traffic “black spots”, intersections which experience a high incidence of traffic accidents, has been developed.
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.
SAFEPED is a computer simulation that integrates robotics and statistics on driver and pedestrian behaviour 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. It allows traffic planners and engineers to analyse 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.
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, we presumed that the problem lay in the environment,” Waizman explained. “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,” Waizman stated.
Keywords: traffic black spots