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Introducing the world’s first responsive road.

   

OUTSMARTING
THE PROBLEM

The first road crossing was invented in the 1930’s. Since then, city life has changed. But pedestrian crossings haven’t kept up. 7,000 incidents happen on Britain’s crossings every year*.

What if we could rethink how a road works, and design a crossing that can see what’s happening on it, and adapt itself to help stop accidents from happening at all?

Could a smarter crossing save lives?

See the Partners section below for more information about the technology used to develop The Smart Crossing.



*Based on data from Road Safety Analysis who recorded 29,028 pedestrian casualties injured on or near a pedestrian crossing in Great Britain between 2011 and 2015

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SMART THINKS
FOR ITSELF

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Accidents happen in the blink of an eye.
Our crossing reacts just as fast.

Rushing to work in the morning, or messing around on the way home from school, pedestrians are vulnerable to danger. If The Smart Crossing’s computer vision system spots a pedestrian running into the road, it reacts in just 0.3 seconds.

Emergency chevrons track their direction of travel, guiding them back to the pavement and out of the path of oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, cars are brought to a safe stopping distance before the danger, by stop signs that animate on the road surface.

24% of adult injuries at crossings are caused by people being careless, reckless or in a hurry*

In today’s urban jungle everyone has somewhere to be. The Smart Crossing knows when a pedestrian gets within 30cm of the road, and urges them to step back safely.

A red signal illuminates to alert cars to the potential hazard in the road. Simultaneously, a red “danger area” on the pavement instructs the pedestrian to step back, drawing their attention to the safe crossing area further up the road.*https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/448036/pedestrian-casualties-2013-data.pdf

14% of pedestrian accidents are caused by vehicles obstructing other road users**.

The Smart Crossing’s motion-tracking cameras cover 22M x 7.5M of road, and know if your view of the crossing is obscured by another road user.

The computer vision system can tell the difference between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, and adapts its response to suit the situation. For example, if a cyclist and pedestrian are in each other’s blind spots, our crossing creates an emergency cycle lane to bring the rider to safe stop, preventing a collision.** https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras50-contributory-factors (Table RAS50004)

The first zebra crossing was installed in 1951.
In 2017, things got a little smarter.

Beneath the layers of functionality sits a baseline crossing, built on the principles of existing solutions. When activated, it uses familiar black and white stripes, amber beacons and iconography every road user instinctively understands.

But this crossing has a brain, and the ability to adapt its surface, shape, colour and location to respond to imminent danger in an instant, or its size to grow to meet the demand of high foot traffic at different times of day.
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SMART KNOWS WHEN
YOU’RE AT RISK

Accidents happen in the blink of an eye.
Our crossing reacts just as fast.

Rushing to work in the morning, or messing around on the way home from school, pedestrians are vulnerable to danger. If The Smart Crossing’s computer vision system spots a pedestrian running into the road, it reacts in just 0.3 seconds.

Emergency chevrons track their direction of travel, guiding them back to the pavement and out of the path of oncoming traffic. Meanwhile, cars are brought to a safe stopping distance before the danger, by stop signs that animate on the road surface.
02

SMART THINKS
FOR ITSELF

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SMART KNOWS IF
YOU’RE DISTRACTED

24% of adult injuries at crossings are caused by people being careless, reckless or in a hurry*

In today’s urban jungle everyone has somewhere to be. The Smart Crossing knows when a pedestrian gets within 30cm of the road, and urges them to step back safely.

A red signal illuminates to alert cars to the potential hazard in the road. Simultaneously, a red “danger area” on the pavement instructs the pedestrian to step back, drawing their attention to the safe crossing area further up the road.*https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/448036/pedestrian-casualties-2013-data.pdf
02

SMART THINKS
FOR ITSELF

View More

14% of pedestrian accidents are caused by vehicles obstructing other road users**.

The Smart Crossing’s motion-tracking cameras cover 22M x 7.5M of road, and know if your view of the crossing is obscured by another road user.

The computer vision system can tell the difference between pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles, and adapts its response to suit the situation. For example, if a cyclist and pedestrian are in each other’s blind spots, our crossing creates an emergency cycle lane to bring the rider to safe stop, preventing a collision.** https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras50-contributory-factors (Table RAS50004)
02
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The first zebra crossing was installed in 1951.

In 2017, things got a little smarter.

Beneath the layers of functionality sits a baseline crossing, built on the principles of existing solutions. When activated, it uses familiar black and white stripes, amber beacons and iconography every road user instinctively understands.

But this crossing has a brain, and the ability to adapt its surface, shape, colour and location to respond to imminent danger in an instant, or its size to grow to meet the demand of high foot traffic at different times of day.

The History
of Crossings

Since the first road crossing was invented, city life has changed. In 2012, the decline in road accidents plateaued, leaving experts wondering if a better solution, could be a better crossing.

timeline

1934

Lesley Belisha invents the “Belisha Beacon” - the first iteration of the pedestrian crossing.

1951

The first zebra crossing is introduced to Britain in Slough, Berkshire.

1962

Panda crossings are trialled, but they are abandoned because the lights confused motorists.

1969

Pelican crossing are introduced to Britain’s roads - the first light controlled crossing.

1990

A more modern, high-tech crossing is introduced, named the Puffin Crossing, using sensors to monitor road.

2017

Smart Crossing prototype is tested.

PARTNERS

Umbrellium

Umbrellium designs and builds technological tools to support citizen empowerment and high-impact engagement in cities.

They joined the project as lead technology partner, with responsibility for the design and build of The Smart Crossing.

Transport Research Lab

TRL enable world-class transport and mobility solutions that underpin tomorrow’s economy and society.

We worked with TRL to identify opportunities to pioneer a safer way to cross by looking at accident research and city infrastructure.

University College London

UCL is a public research university based in London.

We worked with transport, road safety and design experts from UCL to understand the best way to modernise road markings, and animate them in ways pedestrians, drivers and cyclists will instinctively understand.

The base programming codes used to develop The Smart Crossing are:

ofxBlackMagic: Simplified and optimized Black Magic DeckLink SDK grabber

Website: https://github.com/kylemcdonald/ofxBlackmagic

ofxCv: ofxCv represents an alternative approach to wrapping OpenCV for openFrameworks.

Website: https://github.com/kylemcdonald/ofxCv

OpenCV: OpenCV (Open Source Computer Vision Library) is an open source computer vision and machine learning software library.

Website: https://opencv.org/

ofxDarknet: ofxDarknet is a openFrameworks wrapper for darknet.

Darknet is an open source neural network framework written in C and CUDA. It is fast, easy to install, and supports CPU and GPU computation.

Website: https://github.com/mrzl/ofxDarknet