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The Autonomous City Safety Exchange

Technology and innovation that protects pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists on crowded streets using LiDAR, V2X, and Video Analytics.

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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.

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

Anyone that uses Austin's streets and sidewalks will benefit from the added level of safety that the smarter city will provide drivers and autonomous vehicles. Examples of safety alerts saving lives via the "Safety Net" Two cars are heading towards a crosswalk. The first car sees a pedestrian and stops for them to cross. The second car does not notice the stopped car and speeds past, but the car has "safety net" technology that tells it a pedestrian they can't see are about to step out from the cover of the first stopped car. A family is driving on an interstate coming home late at night. Another driver has mistakenly gotten on the same road but heading in the wrong direction. The video camera captures the wrong way driver and sends a WWD alert to the family who can pull over and put on their hazards. A truck is about to make a left-hand turn with a motorcycle approach rapidly. The IntelliSection sensors "see" the motorcycle and warns the truck not to turn until they pass.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Ready to Scale - you have completed and expanded your pilot and are seeing adoption of your solution by your intended user

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Accurate location data is a key data element of mobility and safety. Often overlooked is how important timing is. In the next decade, location will improve, but existing infrastructure and vehicles will have to work in the new "Autonomous Landscape." Knowing that a pedestrian is in front of your vehicle is important but having the EXACT time and location could save a life. The IntelliSection is about better sensors improving safety and reducing traffic and emissions by using more accurate data.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

MetroTech is a Georgia based corporation focused on Smarter Cities. From technicians to sales we have been fortunate to have talented people contribute to our success. The team is a group of engineers and PhDs who are experts in video, data, machine learning, and IoT. The industry network that we have developed over the last 15 years in Intelligent Transportation, Automotive, Mobility, and Smarter City is a key differentiator in MetroTech's value for our clients and partners.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Team or Organization URL

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough budget (500 characters)

LiDAR and Video sensors would be installed at a chosen large intersection in Austin. Equipment and installation services would cost $50K. Software updates and integration to 5G Networks would cost $50K. The system is currently ready to send Connected/Autonomous Vehicles messages using a US DOT standard. Conversations have already begun to integrate to 5G direct services as well. A LiDAR system, Connected Car Software, and DSRC would be included. Additional alerts can be added for pilot.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The pilot phase would showcase very detailed information about an intersection in very precise details. This level of accuracy and timing has not been available before, and many other solutions could be developed from this pilot deployment of a LiDAR IntelliSection. I would ask Ford and other mobility companies to integrate this data into their own research and future products. Once the added safety benefit of (this) data is understood by the mobility, logistics, transit, and auto industries, it will be sought from many more locations to enhance safety and lower liability. This "safety net" could help the public accept autonomous driving, which could open up so many doors for the elderly, physically challenged, and at-risk communities. Transportation as a Service will rely on Public and Private sectors working together to make autonomous cities safer and healthier.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

If one Automotive manufacturer were to test and approve this method of enhancing safety at for pedestrians, motorcyclist, and at dangerous intersections, then we can scale this to other cities and other vehicles types.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

The pilot will continue to broadcast the safety alerts to any vehicles in the area that are equipped with the US DOT or 5G standard radios for safety. This pilot could continue to send safety information long after the pilot ends, with proper maintenance. The goal would be to partner with mobility players that want this data for added safety and want to deploy additional IntelliSections in order to extend this "Safety Net" around the city. A Public Private Partnership could sustain long-term.

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