New 'smart' traffic lights will automatically detect pedestrians

New 'smart' traffic lights will automatically detect pedestrians

04/05/2021

Death of the pelican crossing? New ‘smart’ traffic lights will automatically detect pedestrians and wait for slower people to cross the road using cameras and artificial intelligence

  • Now Wireless developed technology so councils can programme traffic lights  
  • Artificial intelligence will be able to detect a pedestrian from 15 metres away  
  • System takes images from wide-angled camera and processes through AI  

New smart traffic lights will be able to automatically detect pedestrians and wait for slower people to cross using wide-angled cameras and artificial intelligence.   

British company, Now Wireless, developed the technology so that councils can programme the lights to immediately stop traffic when a certain number of people are waiting to cross in a bid to avoid cars from waiting at lights unnecessarily. 

Artificial intelligence will be able to detect a pedestrian from 15 metres away and work out whether they are going to cross the road or continue walking.  

The system works by taking images from a wide-angled camera lens on top of the traffic light and processing them using AI fitted to the structure. 

British company, Now Wireless, developed the technology so that councils can programme the lights to immediately stop traffic when a certain number of people are waiting to cross in a bid to avoid cars from waiting at lights unnecessarily. Stock picture

It comes after fears were raised over the dangers of elderly people not being able to cross pelican crossings quickly enough.  

The AI system will be offered to as many as 40 councils at a cost of £2,500 per crossing. 

Chief executive of Now Wireless, Brian Jackson, told The Times: ‘What we can now do is use cameras to make better use of crossings, giving priority when needed and more fairly than traditional systems allow. 

‘As economies build back, information about pedestrian numbers, and making sure that crossing points operate efficiently, will be particularly important for urban areas.’ 

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