Tag Archives: Traffic Safety

Technology Used To Improve Traffic Flow And Road Safety

MARTA project. (Credit: Image courtesy of Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya)

The Research Group in Mathematical Programming, Logistics and Simulation (PROMALS) and the Seat Chair of Innovation and Sustainable Development (Seat-UPC) create technological solutions to improve traffic flow, make driving safer and more comfortable, lower the accident rate and reduce traffic congestion and emissions of contaminant gases.

New advances will see vehicles equipped with sensors and interfaces which gather information on the traffic situation and display it on screen or alert the driver through automated voice announcements. The Seat-UPC Chair is involved in designing and fitting human machine interfaces (HMIs) and running automated tests of the electronic systems used in the MARTA project, which incorporate new technologies such as specialized image recognition applications.

New on-board sensors will be able to monitor the status of mechanical components such as brakes when a vehicle is in motion, while others will provide automatic control of driving speed and the distance maintained from the vehicle in front. Interfaces will enable data to be shared between vehicles, providing updated information on their position and speed every 200 meters. A system of nodes installed in the road network transmits the data to a mobility management center, where they are processed and used to maintain traffic flow by providing real-time information on congestion spots and suggesting optimum routes in the event of an accident.

The PROMALS group, attached to the Department of Statistics and Operations Research at the UPC, is looking at ways of using the data received by the management center. Its researchers are designing simulated traffic scenarios in which to test the new technologies developed under the MARTA project: a recent example is a traffic priority system in which the real-time data are used to determine the ideal intervals between traffic light phases across a given area, which optimizes traffic flow and reduces congestion.

The MARTA project has a budget of over thirty-five million euros and receives funding from the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI). The project, scheduled for completion in 2011, is coordinated by the company FICOSA as part of a wider program run by the National Strategic Consortium in Technical Research (CENIT), and brings together experts and researchers from nineteen companies and nineteen scientific centers and national universities.

Source : sciencedaily

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Scientists Test System To Steer Drivers Away From Dangerous Weather

Each of the test cars driving around Detroit contains onboard equipment that collects, stores, and transmits weather data. In the future, such onboard equipment will be much smaller and integrated into the car design instead of taking up trunk space. (Credit: Copyright UCAR, photo by Michael Chapman)

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) are testing an innovative technological system in the Detroit area this month that ultimately will help protect drivers from being surprised by black ice, fog, and other hazardous weather conditions.

The prototype system is designed to gather detailed information about weather and road conditions from moving vehicles. Within about a decade, it should enable motor vehicles equipped with wireless technology to transmit automated updates about local conditions to a central database, which will then relay alerts to other drivers in the area.

“The goal is to reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths by getting drivers the information they need about nearby hazards,” says Sheldon Drobot, the NCAR program manager in charge of the project. “The system will tell drivers what they can expect to run into in the next few seconds and minutes, giving them a critical chance to slow down or take other action.”

NCAR’s road weather system is part of IntelliDrive(SM), a national initiative overseen by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to use new technologies to make driving safer and improve mobility. Officials envision that, over the next 10 years or so, motor vehicles will begin to automatically communicate with each other and central databases, alerting drivers to threats that range from adverse road conditions to nearby vehicles that are moving erratically or are running through a red light. The goal of the DOT is to reduce motor vehicle accidents by 90 percent by 2030.

The national program brings together federal and state transportation officials, motor vehicle manufacturers, engineering and planning firms, consumer electronics companies, and others.

An estimated 1.5 million motor vehicle accidents annually are associated with poor weather, resulting in about 7,400 deaths and 690,000 injuries, according to a 2004 National Research Council report, “Where the Weather Meets the Road.” The report called for improving safety by establishing a nationwide observation system to monitor weather conditions along roads and warn drivers about potential hazards.

For the road weather portion of IntelliDrive, vehicles will use sensors to measure atmospheric conditions such as temperature, pressure, and humidity. An onboard digital memory device will record that information, along with indirect signs of road conditions, such as windshield wipers being switched on or activation of the antilock braking system.

The information will be transmitted to a central database, where it will be integrated with other local weather data and traffic observations, as well as details about road material and alignment. The processed data will then be used to update motorists in the area when hazards are present and, when appropriate, suggest alternate routes.

The incoming data would be anonymous. Officials are working on guidelines to allow drivers to opt out of the system for privacy considerations.

In addition to providing motorist warnings, such a system will alert emergency managers to hazardous driving conditions and enable state highway departments to efficiently keep roads clear of snow. It can also help meteorologists refine their forecasts by providing them with continual updates about local weather conditions.

Motor vehicle manufacturers plan to install the onboard equipment in every new vehicle sold in the United States within a few years as part of a voluntary program to improve driving safety.

On the prowl for bad weather

NCAR scientists and engineers are testing the weather piece of the system by collecting information from 11 specially equipped cars in the Detroit area. Test drivers are on the prowl for adverse conditions, especially heavy rain and snow. Engineers will analyze the reliability of the system by comparing data from the cars with other observations from radars and weather satellites. They will also look at whether different models of cars-in this case, Jeep Cherokees, Ford Edges, and a Nissan Altima – produce comparable measurements of weather and road conditions.

The tests, which began early this month and will run for about two weeks, will help the NCAR team refine its software to accurately process data from motor vehicles. In the future, the team also hopes to study which types of weather information will be most useful and how that information can be clearly and safely communicated to drivers, possibly through a visual display or audio alert.

“The results look very encouraging,” Drobot says. “The tests show that cars can indeed communicate critical information about weather conditions and road hazards.”

Processing a deluge of observations

One of the biggest challenges for NCAR is to determine how to process the enormous amounts of data that could be generated by about 300 million motor vehicles. The center has worked with the Department of Defense, the aviation industry, and other organizations to analyze complex weather observations. But the new system incorporates information from far more sources, and those sources are moving.

NCAR engineers are developing mathematical formulas and other techniques to accurately interpret the information and eliminate misleading indicators. If a driver, for example, turns on the windshield wipers in clear weather to clean the windshield, the NCAR data system will identify that action as an outlier rather than issuing a false alert about precipitation.

“It’s not enough to process the information almost instantaneously,” says William Mahoney, who oversees the system’s development for NCAR. “It needs to be cleaned up, sent through a quality control process, blended with traditional weather data, and eventually delivered back to drivers who are counting on the system to accurately guide them through potentially dangerous conditions.”

IntelliDrive is a service mark of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Source :ScienceDaily (Apr. 11, 2009)

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Wanita Gagal Dapat Izin Mengemudi hingga 771 Kali

TinyPic image

(gambar : ilustrasi, sumber dari http://i5.tinypic.com/)

Senin, 9 Februari 2009 – 14:51 wib, okezone.com

SEOUL – Polisi di Korea Selatan mengatakan seorang wanita tua gagal mendapatkan izin mengemudi hingga 771 kali tes seleksi. Wanita tua itu selalu gagal dalam tes tertulisnya.

Wanita berusia 68 tahun yang disebut bernama Cha, mengatakan kepada media lokal, bahwa kegagalan itu bukan sesuatu yang disengaja.

Cha yang tinggal di Jeonju selalu mengikuti tes mengendarai mobil setiap hari kerja sejak tahun 2005, demikian seperti dikutip Sky News, Senin (9/2/2009).

Pada tes terakhir yang dilakukan pekan ini, Cha kembali gagal, dan memasukkan dia dalam rekor kegagalan tes izin mengendarai di kotanya. Polisi memperkirakan Cha sudah menghabiskan sekitar 2.500 poundsterling untuk mengikuti tes tertulis dan lain-lain.

Meski demikian, Cha tak patah arang. Dia tetap terus berusaha dengan cara apapun agar mendapatkan izin mengemudi.

“Problemnya dia tidak dapat melewati ujian tertulis. Seharusnya nilai untuk lulus adalah 60-100, namun dia hanya mendapat 30-50,” kata polisi setempat.

Cha niatnya ingin belajar mengendarai mobil guna membeli mobil untuk mengembangkan bisnis menjual makanan dan perabotan rumah yang selama ini hanya dilakukan dengan cara berjalan keliling komplek.

Bagaimana dengan Indonesia? Apakah hal ini mungkin terjadi? (ahm)

Source : okezone.com

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Stop Traffic Crashes: Switch On The Lights

ScienceDaily (Jan. 21, 2009) — Street lighting provides a simple, low cost means of stemming the global epidemic of road traffic death and injury. Low income countries should consider installing more lights, and high income countries should think carefully before turning any off to reduce carbon emissions, is the advice from a new Cochrane Review.

Street lighting may be considered an obvious means of preventing road traffic crashes, but the scientific evidence for this has been uncertain and many studies are decades out of date. Some even suggest that drivers ‘feel’ safer on better lit roads and may speed up as a result. But a systematic review by Cochrane Researchers now shows that street lighting does indeed reduce crashes and injuries on the roads.

The World Health Organization estimates that 1 million people die each year on the world’s roads and up to an additional 50 million are injured, causing an estimated global bill of $578 billion.

“Road traffic crashes are not just the unfortunate culmination of chance, but are events that can be analysed so that the risk factors are identified and then addressed. Darkness is a risk factor – street lighting is therefore a valuable tool,” said lead researcher, Fiona Beyer, of the Institute of Health and Society at the University of Newcastle in the UK.

The researchers reached their conclusions by pooling data from 14 studies on the effects of street lighting on road safety. They found that street lighting reduced total crashes by between 32% and 55%, and fatal injury crashes by 77%.

Without intervention, the number of deaths due to road traffic crashes is expected to reach 2.3 million by 2020. It is thought that nine out of ten deaths will occur in low and middle income countries. But Beyer says the results may also have implications for policy makers who plan to reduce public street lighting under the premise of cutting carbon emissions and costs.

“In the UK, an increasing number of local councils are looking to turn off some public street lighting in a move to reduce costs and carbon emissions. The potential adverse road safety impact of such a policy should be carefully considered in light of our findings,” said Beyer.

Journal reference:

  1. Beyer et al. Street lighting for preventing road traffic injuries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Reviews, 2009, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004728 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004728.pub2
Adapted from materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Source : sciencedaily

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Bus Masuk Jurang, Satu Penumpang Tewas

Kamis, 22 Januari 2009 – 08:27 wib

KULONPROGO – Sebuah mini bus jurusan Wates-Kokap, terguling di jurang pedukuhan Klepu, Hargowilis, Kecamatan Kokap sekitar pukul 05.30 WIB pagi tadi. Satu orang penumpang meninggal dunia dan lainnya mengalami luka-luka.

Bus malang, PO Agung Rejeki dengan Nopol AB 7047 AC yang dikemudikan Sumaryono (31) ini baru beberapa saat meninggalkan garasi. Di tengah perjalanan, mereka mengangkut tiga penumpang. Namun saat tiba di lokasi, tiba-tiba kemudi bus tidak dapat dikendalikan.

Akibatnya, bus terjun ke dalam jurang yang ketinggiannya lebih dari lima meter. Karni (55), warga Sermo Tengah Kokap, menjadi penumpang yang tewas dengan luka di bagian kepala. Beberapa penumpang lainnya dilarikan ke RSUD Wates akibat luka ringan.

“Ini murni kecelakaan, diduga karena kemudi rusak dan tidak bisa dikendalikan,” terang Kanit Laka Lantas Polres Kulonprogo Iptu Purwanto, Kamis (22/1/2009).

Hingga kini, korban tewas masih terbaring di kamar mayat RSUD Wates. Sedangkan korban lain di rawat di UGD. Petugas  bersama warga tengah melakukan pemindahan badan bus. (Kuntadi/Sindo/teb)

Source : okezone.com

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Car Key Jams Teen Drivers’ Cell Phones

University of Utah engineers developed a new Key2SafeDriving system to prevent teenagers from using cell phones while driving and to reduce cell phone use by adult motorists. Each driver of a car would have their own special key. When the key is extended from the wireless device (sample shown at left), the device sends a signal that displays a stop sign on the cell phone (right) and prevents it from being used to make calls or send text messages. For adult drivers, the system prevents texting and allows calls only on hands-free cell phones. Parents can control the system from a computer. Here, the screen displays safety scores collected by the system based not only on cell phone use, but on driving speed and traffic violations tracked by Global Positioning System satellites. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Utah)

ScienceDaily (Jan. 3, 2009) — University of Utah researchers have developed an automobile ignition key that prevents teenagers from talking on cell phones or sending text messages while driving.

The university has obtained provisional patents and licensed the invention – Key2SafeDriving – to a private company that hopes to see it on the market within six months at a cost of less than $50 per key plus a yet-undetermined monthly service fee.

“The key to safe driving is to avoid distraction,” says Xuesong Zhou, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering who co-invented the system with Wally Curry, a University of Utah graduate now practicing medicine in Hays, Kan. “We want to provide a simple, cost-effective solution to improve driving safety.”

Zhou notes that “at any given time, about 6 percent of travelers on the road are talking on a cell phone while driving. Also at any given time, 10 percent of teenagers who are driving are talking or texting.” Studies have shown drivers using cell phones are about four times more likely to get in a crash than other drivers.

“As a parent, you want to improve driving safety for your teenagers,” he says. “You also want to reduce your insurance costs for your teen drivers. Using our system you can prove that teen drivers are not talking while driving, which can significantly reduce the risk of getting into a car accident.”

If things go as planned, the Key2SafeDriving system won’t be sold directly to consumers by a manufacturer, but instead the technology may be licensed to cell phone service providers to include in their service plans, says Ronn Hartman, managing partner of Accendo LC. The Kaysville, Utah, company provides early stage business consulting and “seed funding.” It has licensed the Key2SafeDriving technology from the University of Utah and is working to manufacture and commercialize it.

Hartman envisions gaining automobile and insurance industry backing so that Key2SafeDriving data on cell phone use (or non-use) while driving can be compiled into a “safety score” and sent monthly to insurance companies, which then would provide discounts to motorists with good scores.  The score also could include data recorded via Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites on the driver’s speeding, rapid braking or running of lights, which are calculated by comparing the driver’s position with a database of maps, speed limits, stop lights and so on.

How Key2SafeDriving Works

The system includes a device that encloses a car key – one for each teen driver or family member. The device connects wirelessly with each key user’s cell phone via either Bluetooth or RFID (radio-frequency identification) technologies.

To turn on the engine, the driver must either slide the key out or push a button to release it. Then the device sends a signal to the driver’s cell phone, placing it in “driving mode” and displaying a “stop” sign on the phone’s display screen.

While in driving mode, teen drivers cannot use their cell phones to talk or send text messages, except for calling 911 or other numbers pre-approved by the parents – most likely the parents’ own cell numbers.

Incoming calls and texts are automatically answered with a message saying, “I am driving now. I will call you later when I arrive at the destination safely.”

When the engine is turned off, the driver slides the key back into the device, which sends a “car stopped” signal to the cell phone, returning it to normal communication mode.

The device can’t be “tricked” by turning the phone off and on again because the phone will receive the “driving mode” signal whenever the car key is extended.

Adult drivers cannot text or use a handheld cell phone, but the Key2SafeDriving system does allow them to talk using a hands-free cell phone – even though studies by University of Utah psychologists indicate hands-free phones are just as distracting as handheld phones.

Curry agrees that driving while talking on any cell phone “is not safe,” but he says the inventors have to face the practical issue of whether adults would buy a product to completely block their cell phone use while driving.

Limiting some cell calls by adults “is a step in the right direction,” he says.

Zhou says the goal for adults is to improve safety by encouraging them to reduce the time they spend talking while driving. The encouragement could come in the form of insurance discounts by insurers, who would receive monthly scores from Key2SafeDriving showing how well an adult driver avoided talking while driving.

An Invention is Born

The new invention began with Curry, a Salt Lake City native who graduated from the University of Utah with an accounting degree and premedical training in 1993. He returned from the Medical College of Wisconsin for his surgical residency in urology at University Hospital during 1998-2003. He now is a urologist in Hays, Kan.

His concern with driving-while-talking began because, as a doctor, “the hospital is calling me all the time on my cell phone when I’m driving.”

One day while driving home, he saw a teenage girl texting while driving, making him worry about his 12- and 14-year-old daughters, who are approaching driving age.

“I thought, this is crazy, there has got to be something to stop this, because not only is she putting people at risk, but so was I,” Curry says. “It struck me pretty hard that something should be done.”

Curry’s initial idea was a GPS system to detect a moving cell phone and disable it when it moved at driving speeds. Meanwhile, someone else developed a similar system based on the same idea. But it cannot distinguish if the cell phone user is driving a car or is a passenger in a moving car, bus or train – a problem overcome by Key2SafeDriving.

In early 2008, Curry called Larry Reaveley, a civil engineering professor at the University of Utah, who suggested Curry contact Zhou, a specialist in “intelligent” transportation systems. Zhou and Curry then came up with the idea of blocking cell phone usage via a vehicle ignition key.

Adapted from materials provided by University of Utah.

Source : sciencedaily.com

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Bus Tabrak Truk, Bikers Tewas Tergencet

Senin, 19 Januari 2009 – 22:03 wib

TUBAN – Kecelakaan yang melibatkan truk, bus, dan sepeda motor di Jembatan Desa Boncong, Jalur Pantura Tuban, Jawa Timur, mengakibatkan satu orang meninggal dunia dan puluhan orang luka-luka.

Diduga kecelakaan terjadi akibat sopir bus yang mengantuk. Kejadian berawal saat bus malam Setia Bhakti nopol B 7429 VB melaju dari arah Jakarta menuju Surabaya. Bus tersebut membawa 20 penumpang. Saat melintas di Desa Boncong KM 41 jalur Pantura Tuban-Semarang, bus berusaha mendahului minibus yang tak diketahui nopolnya.

Usai mendahului, tiba-tiba laju bus oleng ke kiri dan ke kanan. Diduga sopir tak bisa menguasai kemudi, bus akhirnya menabrak truk gandeng bermuatan batu kapur bernopol AG 7445 BU. Nahasnya, sebuah motor bernopol K 3653 TD yang posisinya berada di depan truk ikut tertabrak. Akibatnya motor masuk ke kolong truk gandeng.

Karsono (20), warga Desa Kebloran RT 2 RW 2 Kecamatan Kragan, Rembang, Jawa Tengah, langsung menghembuskan napas terakhir di lokasi kejadian. Tubuhnya tergencet body truk bersama motor yang ditumpanginya. Sedang Sri (20), pacar korban mengalami luka serius dan masih kritis. Ia dilarikan ke RSUD dr Koesma Tuban.

Polisi yang datang ke lokasi langsung berusaha mengevakuasi korban. Beberapa korban yang mengalami luka langsung dibawa ke Puskesmas Bancar, dan sebagian dirujuk ke RSUD dr Koesma Tuban.

Korban luka berat di antaranya sopir bus Efendi (52), asal Cilincit, Bogor, Jabar,  yang menderitra patah tulang kaki. Sedang Suryanto (45), asal Bayanan, Kediri menderita patah tulang kaki. Hingga malam ini, 16 korban luka ringan yang awalnya dirawat di Puskesmas Bancar, dan enam lainnya di Puskesmas Bulu, akhirnya dirujuk ke RSUD dr Koesma Tuban.

Menurut Feri, salah satu penumpang bus, sebelum terlibat kecelakaan, bus melaju dengan kecepatan tinggi. Ia tidak tahu, tiba-tiba bus menghantam truk di depannya. Ia dan penumpang lainnya banyak yang terbentur kaca atau jok tempat duduk, sehingga mengalami luka-luka. “Tahu-tahu nabrak. Awalnya bus melaju kencang,” katanya.

Kanit Laka Satlantas Polres Tuban Iptu Muhammad Faqih mengatakan kecelakaan maut terjadi akibat sopir bus dalam kondisi mengantuk. Saat ini, sopir bus Effendi masih tak sadarkan diri dan dirawat di RSUD dr Koesma. Ia sudah ditetapkan sebagai tersangka karena dianggap lalai dalam mengemudi. “Sopirnya jadi tersangka. Tapi belum bisa dimintai keterangan. Karena masih dirawat,” katanya.(Nanang Fahrudin/Sindo/ful)

Source : okezone.com

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