Ann Arbor is home to the world-renowned and sprawling University of Michigan. Pedestrian safety has long been a main area of concern for this city where a third of its residents are enrolled in college or graduate school. Both students and locals often travel by foot and are vulnerable to reckless drivers. To reduce pedestrian accidents and crashes, the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute will soon create over 20 smart intersections in Ann Arbor.
The project will turn these intersections “smart” by installing radar, cameras and infrared sensors. This will allow the intersections to send real-time movement and traffic data to nearby internet accessible and connected vehicles. Ann Arbor is no stranger to this type of technology. The city has been using intelligent traffic signals for years. As many as 3,000 vehicles have been interfacing with intersections throughout Ann Arbor since 2012.
A new initiative
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration awarded the University of Michigan a grant of nearly $10 million to fund the project. Reportedly, the new system will fill in gaps in the existing technology and follows a state-wide trend of building advanced infrastructure to support automated vehicles. According to the UMTRI Director, the project will provide immediate safety benefits and help to create a blueprint for a connected vehicle future. The smart intersections are scheduled for implementation in or around 2024.
Modern technological advancements are helping to save lives and create safer roadways for both motorists and pedestrians. However, technology will never be able to completely prevent accidents from occurring. Michigan residents who have suffered injuries or the loss of loved ones in pedestrian accidents may want to consider discussions with an experienced attorney. A successful claim could provide victims and families with much-needed compensation.