Enhanced Traffic Intersection Safety Feature
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-19
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Disclosed is a method to improve intersection safety by adding sensors to existing traffic signals to assess approaching vehicle speed and position and control signal functions.
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Many traffic accidents and fatalities currently occurring at traffic intersections are caused by speeding vehicles running a red light with resultant "T-bone" collisions with opposing traffic which has already started on their green light. One known passive solution is to have a longer yellow light and consistently delay the opposing green light for a second or two until after the onset of the red light. This simplistic passive solution, while helpful, has not completely reduced intersection accidents since impatient drivers often speed up instead of slowing down when faced with a signal turning yellow. Another drawback of this system is that since every signal cycle has built in delay, extra gas consumption and restrictions to optimal traffic flow are a natural result. Some problem-prone intersections controlled by traffic signals may already have speed monitors and camera systems for the purposes of issuing traffic citations for either speeding or running a red light, but these are not currently coupled to delay the onset of opposing traffic flow in order to prevent "T-bone" collisions. (While there are numerous "intelligent"/adaptive traffic signal innovations cited in available literature, these all focus on creating more efficient traffic flow patterns, not accident prevention via active sensing of approaching vehicle speed and ability to stop at a changing signal.)
This invention would add active sensors to problem-prone intersections controlled by traffic signals which would detect speeding vehicles approaching as the signals are about to change, calculate whether vehicle speed and proximity to the intersection is indicative of...