SBIR Phase II: Safety and Mobility System

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1329477
Agency Tracking Number: 1329477
Amount: $450,587.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: EI
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
1608 Fourth Street, Suite 200, Berkeley, CA, 94710-1749
DUNS: 191543979
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Pravin Varaiya
 (510) 548-4620
Business Contact
 Pravin Varaiya
Phone: (510) 548-4620
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project should dramatically improve intersection safety and mobility in a practical way. Safety is measured by the risk of collision between pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles; safety is improved by better signal timing, warnings, and possibly enforcement. Mobility is measured by vehicle delay, number of stops, and throughput; it is improved by better signal control, and adaptation to current traffic conditions. Today traffic data collected in 300,000 intersections in the US consists of manual vehicle counts conducted every couple of years; bicycles or pedestrians are almost never measured. Traffic signal settings are based on these inadequate measurements. Safety risk is measured by counting crashes; there is no account of near-crashes. Measurement of intersection performance (level of service, throughput, and delay) is rarely attempted since it requires continuous monitoring of traffic. Nevertheless major signalized intersections do detect the presence of vehicles, and do receive push button signals from pedestrians if they wish to cross. A few intersections have bicycle detectors. What is lacking is the means to collect these measurements and intelligently fuse them to estimate the traffic state in real-time. This innovation is the only system that can do this. The broader and commercial impact of this innovation is the savings in lives and lost productivity. Inefficient operation of intersections is costly. Poor intersection control causes 295 million vehicle-hours of traffic delay, and annually costs the peak-period traveler $710 in additional travel time and fuel. An estimated 2.3M crashes occurred at intersections in 2008, accounting for 40 percent of 5.8M crashes, 7,421 fatalities (including 4,092 pedestrians) and 733,000 crashes with injuries. Unless urban roads are carefully managed, these mobility and safety costs will only increase as cities try to provide convenient multimodal transportation choices to all citizens, whether it?s by driving, walking, bicycling, or transit, leading to greater interaction between the modal types. But careful management requires the ability to evaluate, predict and identify means to improve intersection mobility and safety. Today the data needed to conduct such studies on a routine basis are not available anywhere. This innovation is the only system that can provide such data in real time. It will be an exceptionally low-cost system that can be installed in a few hours, with data available the next day. This innovation will address the emerging requirements of the recent federal MAP-21 legislation.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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