Making Roads Safer: From Telematic Analysis to Smart Traffic Lights

The high accident rate is one of the key social and economic problems in many countries

all over the world. According to the World Bank, the global economic losses from road traffic accidents amount to about $ 500 billion a year. This encourages states to change road infrastructure, develop new legislative measures, as well as invest in the development and implementation of high technologies that increase the safety of road traffic. This challenge provides an incentive for start-ups and large IT companies to develop their own technologies for roads and motorists with guaranteed demand for their use with successful performance. So, the first step in the fight for road safety is to identify the main causes of road accidents.

Traffic flow monitoring and control

One of the reasons for road accidents isa large stream of cars. The increase in traffic and, as a result, road accidents is influenced by the growth of cars on Russian roads. This is due, among other things, to the high demand of citizens for carsharing cars - in the capital alone, their number increased to 31 thousand in 2019.

Traffic police observations for 2020 showed thatthe most critical day due to increased traffic was Saturday. Every third accident occurs on this day. In order to control and regulate traffic flows, neural networks are used, which, based on artificial intelligence, analyze more than 400 parameters, these programs collect information in real time using cameras and send data to situational centers. One of the successful examples of the use of this technology is the Moscow region, where the use of such systems has reduced the accident rate by 60%. In addition, smart traffic lights have begun to be used in large cities of Russia, which change the duration of signal switching depending on the traffic congestion, adjust to the route feature and time of day.

Pedestrian detection technology

According to the Center for the Organization of Roadtraffic (TsODD), non-passage of pedestrians has become one of the three main causes of accidents. At the same time, two out of five accidents (39.4% of the total number of road accidents) occurred with the participation of pedestrians.

To solve this problem, Russia createdan automated pedestrian recognition system, which, based on vibration exposure, can detect a person on the road and notify the driver through the car's on-board computer. Its use is predicted to reduce the risk of an accident by 20-25%.

A similar technology has also been developed forpedestrians - in 2020, Russia began testing a free application for a smartphone, which in the background notifies a person about an approaching car. This service will collect information from smart traffic lights and cameras, while AI takes into account weather conditions and other external factors to calculate the speed of approaching a car and warn a pedestrian 100-200 m away.

Driving style telematics analysis

This technology has a positive effect on reducingrisk of several factors at once in the event of an accident. Firstly, one of the causes of road accidents is car malfunction - 3.8% of all reported cases. Secondly, the level of accidents remains high due to the driver's carelessness and traffic violations - 9 out of every 10 registered accidents.

According to analysts at Berg Insight, the number ofconnected vehicles in the CIS and Eastern Europe region will grow by 13.5% per year and will reach 13.8 million devices by 2023, of which almost 40% will be in Russia. Now the capabilities of telematics devices have expanded significantly, which has a positive effect on road safety - the system not only analyzes the condition of the car and notifies about malfunctions, but also assesses the driving style of the motorist. The device uses AI to determine sudden braking and acceleration, violations of the speed limit and many other parameters that form the basis for assessing the driving style of a car by a driver.

Identification of drunk drivers

For 2019, according to the traffic police, the number of accidentsdue to the fault of alcoholic intoxication of drivers has exceeded 19 thousand cases, and the number of victims in such accidents is more than 26 thousand. It is difficult to detect signs of driver's intoxication, since the traffic police stop far from all cars driven by a potentially drunk driver.

Back in 2011, the United States allocated a budget fordevelopment of alcolocks, thanks to which the car will independently calculate the level of alcohol intoxication of the motorist and make decisions about the possibility of starting a trip. The essence of this device is that before starting a trip, a motorist needs to use a special tube, which is connected to the on-board computer and the car engine, to pass the breathalyzer. If the driver's intoxication indicators are normal, then he can safely start the trip, and if they exceed the lower limit of the norm, then the engine is automatically blocked.

In Russia, the issue of introducing such technologyhas been relevant since the beginning of 2013, and now the state is actively preparing the legislative framework for mass implementation. At the same time, in Russian regional cities, they began to use alcohol frames, which automatically calculate cars with drunk drivers and send data to the nearest traffic police post.

Human factor

All of the above technologies make the environmentdriver's environment is more understandable and safer. At the same time, technologies that can directly affect the functional state of a person while driving are critically important: timely identify and prevent the risk of falling asleep, loss of attention, stress, and the effect of a wide range of diseases on well-being. According to international experts, the contribution of such risks of the human factor to road accidents ranges from 80 to 95%.

However, with the help of innovative technologies suchfactors can also be controlled. For example, in Russia the technologies “ASPO” and “Shturman” have been developed. They are used for pre-trip and post-trip medical examinations, as well as for monitoring the condition of vehicle drivers while driving in real time.

Practice of large transport companiesshows that with normal pressure and heart rate, drivers often make critical mistakes, and detecting the fact of falling asleep (microsleep) while driving is not enough to reduce the accident rate.

Therefore, both systems are designed tocreate additional value for companies: accidents can be prevented by proactive, regular and in-depth monitoring of the functional state of workers.

Unlike standard pressure measurement withmedical examination and methods of video monitoring of closed eyes, "ASPO" and "Shturman" implement a preventive approach to the risks of the influence of a person's functional state on his actions while driving. This approach is based on methods of variational heart rate monitoring and proprietary heart rate analysis techniques.

Systems analyze several dozen parametersthe functional state of each person, taking into account individual norms, they process data and signal the risk of dangerous conditions in a person in advance: a few minutes before falling asleep, before a sudden deterioration in health, as well as at the stage of pre-illness. These technologies are already being used by such companies as JSC Russian Railways, GUP Mosgortrans, Petersburg, Moscow Metro, SPb GUP Passazhiravtotrans, SPb GUP Gorelekrotrans and others. Experience of use has shown that such systems reduce the risk of accidents by 3.8 times, reduce labor losses by 25% and ensure the stability of the drivers being behind the wheel in optimal working condition.

The trend towards digitalization of transport processes andthe introduction of innovative technologies is justified by successful indicators - not only economic, but also social. Technologies are reaching a new level and every year the area of ​​their application is expanding more and more - not only individual objects, but entire cities become smart. In turn, innovations in the transport sector are trusted to ensure the safety of human life - and this is quite effective.

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