Nationwide statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown that the number of traffic accidents that result in fatalities is on the decline. This is, in large part, due to safer cars with advanced warning and collision avoidance technologies. These same technologies do not protect pedestrians. As total traffic fatalities decrease, the percentage of traffic related fatalities involving pedestrians is on the rise. In fact, pedestrians, who only represent roughly 10% of all travelers, represent 15% of traffic fatalities, a disproportionately high figure. Crosswalks, sidewalks, and other walking paths are marked to indicate to drivers when and where they should yield to pedestrians, but not all drivers have the courtesy or awareness to obey pedestrian safety laws as they should.
Polaris has developed the Pedestrian Automated Safety Enforcement System (PASES) to determine when a pedestrian’s right of way has been violated by a passing automobile. PASES uses multiple modalities to make up for deficiencies of single modes of detection, and also makes use of patented software that allows the sensors to “communicate” with each other. This allows the process to be fully automated, so that when the first smart sensor detects a pedestrian in the crosswalk, the next sensor will watch for any cars that are violating that pedestrian’s right of way. If a violation is determined to have been made then the second sensor will trigger a video camera to record the license plate number of the violator.
Pedestrian Automated Safety Enforcement System (PASES)
Tracking algorithm dynamically computes background, greatly reducing false alarms which result from seasonal and time of day changes in the scene. Pedestrians and vehicles successfully tracked through shadow.
- Infrared sensor to detect pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-motorists
- Radar used to detect cars within a certain FOV
- Visual light camera to record violations
- Detection algorithms that determine violations in near real time
- Patented communication software
- On site processing and storage of video for use by an operator
This technology could be used at intersections or at mid-block crosswalks. A mobile version of this system may one day be available for use by police cruisers, firetrucks, ambulances, and tow trucks to keep these emergency response vehicles and the people who operate them safe from distracted drivers, speeders, and other traffic related threats so they can do their job. Different versions of PASES may also be applicable to air traffic control, water way traffic control, and many other areas.
The infrared sensors used in PASES are equipped with an algorithm that determines the likelihood of a pedestrian in designated area based on the temperature, general shape, and movement of an object of interest. The radar uses a similar algorithm to determine when a car is in the frame based on speed, size, shape, and direction of travel. All of this information is processed in near-real-time so that PASES can identify when a violation is occurring and record the evidence.