MIT-developed algorithm can predict red light runners, alert nearby drivers

By on December 1, 2011, 3:00 PM

A new algorithm developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can accurately predict how likely a person is to run a red light.

Traffic data from a busy intersection in Virginia showed that the system was accurate 85 percent of the time, roughly 15 to 20 percent more accurate than current methods. The algorithm takes into account a vehicle’s speed, deceleration and proximity to a stop light. The system is able to detect a potential light runner about two seconds in advance and could even send out a warning message to nearby vehicles about to enter the intersection.

The latter, of course, would depend on deployment of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) wireless communications technology that would allow automobiles to “talk” to each other. Ford, GM and BMW are all actively researching methods to integrate such technology into future cars and even make aftermarket additions available for older cars. An aftermarket solution could also be used for cyclists and pedestrians.

As MIT processor Jonathan How suggests, the system as a whole would have to be reliable enough not to produce too many false positives; that is, alerting drivers when a threat isn’t present. Doing so too often would likely prompt motorists to dismiss the feature as annoying and ultimately disable it.

MIT is also looking into the possibility of bringing the technology to aviation where it could aid in collision detection or prioritizing runways.

A 2008 study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that 2.3 million automobile crashes occurred at intersections across the country, resulting in nearly 7,000 deaths. 700 of those were a result of someone running a red light.




User Comments: 15

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amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

So 700 of 7000, or 10%.

Thats it?

If people are so full of rage they can't stop for a red and they get side swiped by a 18-wheeler, they deserve it. Does that sound too rough America? Im sorry.

Your right. Lets feel bad for them and not the innocent people they kill.

Guest said:

@amstech: Errrr.... what?

1.) So we shouldn't take this seriously because it has the potential to "only" save 700 lives?!? What about when that life is yours buddy?

2.) Rage? Really? It's called being in a hurry or being distracted.

3.) Where in this article are we feeling bad for the person who caused it and not the innocent law abiding one? The point is to avoid these accidents altogether so nobody gets hurt; not the innocent nor the guilty parties.

Chazz said:

amstech said:

So 700 of 7000, or 10%.

Thats it?

If people are so full of rage they can't stop for a red and they get side swiped by a 18-wheeler, they deserve it. Does that sound too rough America? Im sorry.

Your right. Lets feel bad for them and not the innocent people they kill.

What? :-/

Raswan Raswan said:

amstech said:

So 700 of 7000, or 10%.

Thats it?

If people are so full of rage they can't stop for a red and they get side swiped by a 18-wheeler, they deserve it. Does that sound too rough America? Im sorry.

Your right. Lets feel bad for them and not the innocent people they kill.

Better find a bridge to move under, quick. Because of your being a troll and all. Raswan out.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

amstech said:

So 700 of 7000, or 10%.

Thats it?

If people are so full of rage they can't stop for a red and they get side swiped by a 18-wheeler, they deserve it. Does that sound too rough America? Im sorry.

Your right. Lets feel bad for them and not the innocent people they kill.

Lol dude. So misguided.

Guest said:

So 700 of 7000, or 10%.

Thats it?

If people are so full of rage they can't stop for a red and they get side swiped by a 18-wheeler, they deserve it. Does that sound too rough America? Im sorry.

Your right. Lets feel bad for them and not the innocent people they kill.

*facepalm*

dude you better pray that guy lawfer doesnt see this comment lol

slifer8910 said:

Woot!

I think this is a very interesting idea and I think the results are accurate. Also I am glad to be the only person not to quote amstech!

Guest said:

Yeah...what Slifer8910 said!

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

As the quote quota has run out I'll just say this sounds like a great feature in the future!

Guest said:

How about instead of a complex vehicle to vehicle communication, the traffic control systems (stop lights, etc) just send out a signal to approaching cars, so on your dash you get a signal the light will be turning red and you don't have enough time to floor it to get through.

Guest said:

Yes it is only saving about 700 peoples lives, but also countless money for damage to vehicles due to red light runners.

Downside, if it becomes too good, and I know there is no red light camera, I may blow every red light as I trust this system will tell the other cars to stop.

Guest said:

That's all well and good...until they start issuing tickets based on this algorithm regardless of whether you ran it or not.

:(

negroplasty negroplasty said:

Maybe they should just do away with conventional traffic lights and use this type of technology to create super intelligent traffic lights that aren't as absolutely useless as those used today... at what point will we stop polishing this turd that is our method of traffic control???

Guest said:

You got it in one, I must admit I've ran a few red lights in my time so I dont have to wait five minutes for the next phase change, especially at night when no one is around and you are pointlessly sitting at the lights.

hitech0101 said:

Guest said:

You got it in one, I must admit I've ran a few red lights in my time so I dont have to wait five minutes for the next phase change, especially at night when no one is around and you are pointlessly sitting at the lights.

The signals here at night just keep blinking orange actually it seems to work as the driver is more alert looking for vehicles especially during night times when traffic is very less.

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