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Will AI Make Roads Safer for Pedestrians?

The age of artificial intelligence is upon us. As AI becomes integrated into various aspects of our daily lives, it’s helping to provide a safer world for all.

One area of AI that has received a lot of attention lately is its integration with traffic and roadways.

Pedestrian Detection Technology in Vehicles

One AI safety technology that has been on the vehicle market in the recent decade is pedestrian detection. This build-in feature is becoming a standard addition to most new vehicle models.

Through the use of onboard cameras, pedestrian detection technology can determine when a pedestrian is entering the roadway in front of a vehicle.

This technology will alert the driver to the pedestrian’s presence so that they can respond accordingly. Even more advanced pedestrian detection systems will apply automatic braking to the vehicle to ensure that it can stop in time to avoid a collision.

This pedestrian detection technology is typically programmed to work when vehicles are traveling below 25 miles per hour or are in reverse.

Smart Crosswalks

Currently being integrated in some of the most densely populated cities throughout the country, smart crosswalks are a new type of AI technology that is working to make crosswalks safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.

This highly advanced technology uses sensors and cameras to detect when pedestrians are present.

Whenever even the slightest movement is detected in the crosswalk, alert and street lighting kicks on.

This not only helps the pedestrians to see where they’re going, but it allows vehicle drivers to be alerted of the presence of pedestrians at the crosswalk.

Even more, smart crosswalks are constantly tracking real-time data about pedestrian usage. This feeds into local traffic management systems so that they can respond accordingly.

Traffic Signal Timing

It’s true that most crosswalks are preprogrammed with a specific amount of time to let pedestrians cross the street before the traffic light changes colors.

The reality is that the amount of time people need to cross the street highly depends on the number of pedestrians crossing.

When you have a high number of pedestrians using the crosswalk, they’re going to require more time to safely cross than if there’s only a small number of pedestrians.

Fortunately, traffic signal timing AI is changing the landscape for safe crossing times. With real-time data, AI can track the number of pedestrians at a specific crosswalk.

When a threshold is met, the time allowed for pedestrian crossing is increased. This helps to ensure that all pedestrians have adequate time to cross the street before the traffic light changes.

This offers increased efficiency when it comes to pedestrian crossings.

Live Crash Detection

Another AI technology that is in its beginning stages is live crash detection. AI is utilized to monitor live CCTV feeds of intersections throughout various cities.

Whenever a pedestrian accident is detected, AI will alert emergency personal to respond quickly. All of this real-time data is feed into intelligent traffic systems.

These systems analyze problem areas and adjust known controls to help reduce the risk of future accidents.


Pedestrian deaths are at the highest rate in 40 years. Many large cities are seeing an epidemic of pedestrian deaths, in 2022 there were 52 serious injuries and fatalities to pedestrians in Oakland, California.

The use of AI technology has had quite a positive impact on society so far. When it comes to making the roadways safer for pedestrians, the numerous technologies that we went over above are truly making a difference.

As AI technology continues to advance, we’re sure there will be more and more methods used to help greatly reduce the number of pedestrian-related accidents that happen throughout the country.

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