Feeds

Boffin's bot spots red light jumpers before they kill

Predictive code warns of moron motorists

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A team at MIT has developed a computer algorithm that claims to predict which cars will run a red light at traffic intersections.

The system, developed at the MIT Aerospace Controls Laboratory, uses cameras to track a car’s progress towards a red light, matching its speed, deceleration, and road position, and then predicts with 85 per cent accuracy if the driver is planning to ignore the light. The team based the code on an analysis of 15,000 cars at a road junction in Christianburg, Virginia, after using robots in the lab to mimic car behavior to develop the original code.

MIT car avoidance

Programming bad driving

The goal is to build the software into the next generation of smart cars, which would use vehicle-to-vehicle communication to warn drivers that there is a prat about to jump the light, and that they should be on their guard. The team also envisages the car displaying the best route to take to avoid impact.

“If you had some type of heads-up display for the driver, it might be something where the algorithms are analyzing and saying, ‘We’re concerned’,” said team leader Jonathan How, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT in a statement. “Even though your light might be green, it may recommend you not go, because there are people behaving badly that you may not be aware of.”

While the technology to fully utilize the software isn’t yet on the street, red-light runners definitely are. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 700 people each year are killed at US traffic intersections by people jumping the lights, and in half of those cases the people who die aren’t the idiot that jumped the light, but are either in the car they hit or a pedestrian who gets mowed down.

This type of predictive software has been in development from a number of institutions and companies, but How said that the new system is much more accurate – cutting the false positive rate by up to 20 per cent - which is vital for getting people to use the system.

“The challenge is, you don’t want to be overly pessimistic,” he said. “If you’re too pessimistic, you start reporting there’s a problem when there really isn’t, and then very rapidly, the human’s going to push a button that turns this thing off.” ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.