Artificial intelligence improves highway safety in Las Vegas

November 22, 2018
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Artificial intelligence is helping improve safety along a stretch of Las Vegas' busiest highway.

The Nevada Highway Patrol says a yearlong partnership between public safety agencies and a startup technology firm resulted in a 17 percent reduction in crashes along a portion of northbound Interstate 15 just west of the Las Vegas Strip.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Waycare, a provider of artificial intelligence-based mobility products and services for smart cities, helped lead the crash prevention pilot program.

They hope to use it in other parts of the Las Vegas Valley, including a stretch of U.S. 95 between I-15 and the Rainbow Boulevard curve.

The program uses in-vehicle information, cameras, sensors and other traffic data to develop prediction models to reduce congestion.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, the Nevada Department of Transportation and the Nevada Highway Patrol teamed up for the pilot program with Waycare. The Israeli startup already carried out a similar program in Tel Aviv, and it started a crash prevention program last year in Tampa, Florida.

The Nevada Highway Patrol says the results from the initial project on I-15 in Las Vegas between Charleston Boulevard and Russell Road came without any additional resources from state or local agencies.

"Groundbreaking partnerships like this enable Southern Nevada to continue to lead the way in leveraging advanced technologies to dramatically improve traffic safety and efficiency," RTC general manager Tina Quigley said.

"These latest statistics coupled with the fact that we are identifying accidents up to 12 minutes faster with the Waycare platform helps translate what public and private partnerships can do and that AI is working to modernize and create a better transportation system for all."

The platform uses in-vehicle information and municipal traffic data to understand road conditions in real time. When an area at high risk for an incident is identified, Waycare alerts traffic agencies when and where to take preventive action.

The RTC uses dynamic message boards to relay advanced warning of an incident, alerting drivers to reduce speed and drive cautiously.

The NHP then deploys its vehicles in high-visibility mode along the freeway in conjunction with NDOT, which assures that safety barriers are in place for the police officers on freeways.

During the program, 91 percent of drivers traveling at more than 65 mph slowed down to under 65 mph in areas where preventive measures were deployed, RTC said.

"The results of this pilot program are a clear signal that AI and deep learning, when deployed in collaboration with traffic management and enforcement agencies, can have a dramatic impact on improving the safety of even our busiest and most at-risk freeways," said Noam Maital, co-founder and CEO of Waycare.

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