Leveraging connected vehicle, infrastructure tech to protect pedestrians

Can smart cities and connected vehicles protect pedestrians?

Nevada is looking to use connected infrastructure and new vehicle technologies to better protect pedestrians.

With a growing population, the region’s pedestrian fatalities are on the rise.  Safety challenges range from wide streets to long stretches of flat roadways with few crosswalks and high speed limits. The Nevada Center for Advanced Mobility (CAM) wants ideas for creative and non-traditional technologies that can improve pedestrian safety in southern Nevada.

A request for information solicits solutions that can leverage new vehicle technologies and the state’s existing and future connected infrastructure. Solutions must be at least in the prototype development stage, easily deployable for the state and demonstrate potential to minimize vehicle-pedestrian collisions.

Nevada CAM is partnering  with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), the Nevada Department of Transportation and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, on the project. All the partners  have experience in connected autonomous vehicle and intelligent infrastructure.

According to Steve Hill, executive director for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the RTC’s Freeway and Arterial System of Transportation already has the technology to communicate with connected vehicles at traffic signals, so one safety solution might be send that information to pedestrians’ smartphones.

The Nevada RFI is also similar to an international initiative called “Vision Zero,” a traffic safety project and data-driven approach to creating highway systems free of transportation-related injuries, according to a CityLab article.  

In fact, many cities across the United States are already implementing Vision Zero.  The Austin Transportation Department, for example, has a cross-agency Action Plan for Vision Zero, and New York City has made it a part of its plans to improve street safety.   

Reponses to Nevada’s RFI are due Sept. 28.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.

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