MetroTech has created solutions that increase both safety and the flow of traffic for cities. MetroTech has created video traffic metrics networks for Silicon Valley to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. MetroTech has created a Wrong Way Driving solution that uses a city's existing video network to find dangerous hazards like Wrong Way Drivers and sudden traffic congestion caused by accidents or other incidents.
The safety solution that MetroTech is proposing for Austin uses next generation traffic sensors like LiDAR and advanced Radar. In a US DOT test bed in Tampa, MetroTech has led a project with Siemens (based in Austin) to provide safety for pedestrians and motorists.
The Tampa testbed uses the US DOT standards for V2X and the most advanced LiDAR sensors. MetroTech has created the first "Talking Crosswalk,” as seen in the attached video. If you or your car's sensors can't see a pedestrian or bicycle, the IntelliSection will see it and transmit a radio signal to warn of a potential accident. During testing and deployment, we learned why crosswalks like this are dangerous. Drivers don't see around stopped or parked cars, and we witnessed many near misses ourselves.
Vehicles and drivers can only see what is in their line of sight. The MetroTech solution helps protect the public from accidents by helping drivers and their cars see "around the corner, over the hill, and far away." Sensors will continue to improve, but they can't overcome the challenge of seeing through walls and hills. There will be key places where drivers and AVs will not be able to see what is next. By aiding their "digital sight" with Smarter City sensors, the vehicles can move more confidently in challenging areas.
The next generation of this solution will include other safety alerts such as motorcycle safety and red-light-runner warnings. MetroTech would like to partner with Austin and its partners to add these other critical safety alerts for life-saving applications.
Imagine a car that is about to drive through a green light but would be T-boned by another driver running a red light. LiDAR can detect the red-light runner and send an alert to the traffic light and the connected and autonomous vehicles in the area. The green light can be delayed or changed to a flashing red until the threat has passed. The Connected and Autonomous Vehicles could get a warning or sent information that would help them avoid an accident.
Austin could be the first city to deploy the full IntelliSection at a large and dangerous intersection. An advanced mobility company like Ford could outfit its vehicles with these safety alerts and add them to their "conflict" list, warning their drivers of pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, and red-light runners. The investment in safety would also create data that could be used to better operate the signal timing and to better assess the traffic patterns for better planning.
This level of data will improve safety and operations in ways we cannot even yet imagine, as it already has in Silicon Valley and Tampa.