A novel approach for diagnosing road safety issues using automated computer vision techniques

Tarek Sayed
Mohamed H Zaki
Jarvis Autey

The use of traffic conflicts for safety diagnosis has been gaining acceptance as a surrogate for collision data analysis. The traffic conflicts approach provided better understanding of collision contributing factors and the failure mechanism that leads to road collisions. This paper demonstrates an automated proactive safety diagnosis approach for vehicles, pedestrian and cyclists using video-based computer vision techniques. Traffic conflicts are automatically detected and several conflict indicators such as Time to collision (TTC) are calculated based on the analysis of the road-user positions in space and time. Additionally, spatial violations are detected based on the non-conformance of road users to travel regulations. Several case studies are described. The first case study deals of the safety analysis of a newly installed bike lane at the southern approach of a heavy volume Bridge in Vancouver, British Columbia. The results showed a high exposure of cyclists to traffic conflicts. Practical solutions to address the safety issues at the location were presented. The second case study deals with a major signalized intersection where concerns were raised regarding the high conflict rate between vehicles and pedestrians as well as an elevated number of traffic violations (i.e., jaywalking) at the intersection. Conflicts and violations were identified and pedestrian safety countermeasures were presented. The third case study deals with a before-after (BA) safety evaluation of a newly proposed design for channelized right-turn lanes at intersections. The new design, termed “Smart Channels”, decreases the angle of the channelized right turn to approximately 70 degrees. The results of the evaluation show that the implementation of the right-turn treatment has resulted in a considerable reduction in the severity and frequency of merging, rear-end, and total conflicts. Overall, the three case studies demonstrate the considerable potential of using video-based computer vision techniques for automated road safety analysis based on traffic conflicts.



Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) workshop in Stockholm

An open seminar and workshop in Stockholm will be held on 25-26 April 2018. The workshop deals with the use of CBA as a basis for decision-making in the public sector. The workshop is organized by, among others, Professor Jan-Eric Nilsson, VTI.



Modal shift for an environmental lift?

Investigations in Sweden and other countries suggest a shift of goods transport from road to rail and waterborne transport to reach environmental and climate objectives. VTI is leading a new project to investigate how the modal shift can contribute and what...


Automation and digitalisation are making rail competitive

Road transport is developing rapidly and its productivity has increased sharply. Rail transport, however, has not developed at the same rate. Automation and digitalisation are essential if rail freight in Europe is to survive.


New research is creating a driverless logistics chain

The research project Born to Drive has come up with a system that allows new cars to move, without a driver, from the production line out to the parking area prior to being transported elsewhere. The vision is to automate the entire logistics chain from...


VTI testing automation in EU project

VTI is leading a series of tests in a major EU project on automated driving. The first driving tests were carried out n a test track in Slovenia in December. The project will focus in part on acceptance among different groups in society, in part on...


Freight transportation on road and rail analysed

Freight transport accounts for a large proportion of the emissions, noise and congestion produced by road traffic. Transporting freight in larger but fewer lorries could reduce the problem. At the same time it might entail freight being diverted from more...


Millions for research into maritime transport and the environment

Maritime transport is a major source of emissions of harmful air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In a new project, a research team from the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI) and the University of Gothenburg has received SEK 6.4...