The City of Gainesville and the University of Florida were awarded a joint $2 million grant in April through the National Science Foundation’s Smart and Connected Communities Program. Now, UF researchers and the city have begun their groundbreaking work to improve roadway safety.
The NSF grant provided the financial resources needed to deploy technological innovations at high-risk intersections throughout the city. Advanced video processing devices applied to roadway infrastructure and artificial intelligence provide university researchers at the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering and UF Transportation Institute access to automated detection of near miss events and other real-time traffic data.
The results of the collaborative research project are expected to have broad national impacts on traffic management, smart city planning and safety decisions. The goal is to create replicable solutions to help communities better understand the risk profile of intersections and to produce risk index models not yet seen in the United States. Such work directly aligns with the city’s Vision Zero goals of reducing traffic fatalities and injuries. Vision Zero is a national initiative aimed at reducing the number of accidents and fatalities to zero. In 2018, over 40-thousand people in the U.S. lost their lives due to traffic accidents and the City of Gainesville alone recorded more than 1,800 accidents at intersections.