FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) announced today that Transoft Solutions’ Video-based Network-wide Conflict and Speed Analysis to Support Vision Zero in Bellevue, WA, has been awarded the 2021 Edmund R. Ricker Award. The Safety Council Edmund R. Ricker Award is given to an organization that has provided exemplary support for traffic safety through financial support, public relations, or other means.
A first of its kind project demonstrating that video-based surrogate safety analysis can assist practitioners in identifying problematic intersections, diagnose the nature of site- specific issues, select improvements, and evaluate outcomes. The project, among other findings, shows that intersection conflicts, or near- crash events, are accurate predictors of where future crashes could occur.
The City of Bellevue partnered with Transoft Solutions (ITS), Inc., and Together for Safer Roads (a corporate social accelerator that leverages private-sector technology, data and expertise to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities around the world) on a first-of-its kind, citywide analysis of traffic camera video, with the goal of improving road safety for people who walk, cycle and drive. The project used video footage from Bellevue’s network of existing traffic cameras. Transoft Solutions’ traffic and road safety technology processed, analyzed, and diagnosed problematic intersections from Bellevue’s video feed.
The project, formally titled “Video-based Network-wide Conflict and Speed Analysis to Support Vision Zero in Bellevue (WA) United States,” began in August 2019 and grew from the City of Bellevue’s Vision Zero effort, which strives to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries on city streets by 2030. Video footage supplied from 40 of the city’s 360-degree, high-definition connected traffic cameras was used for the study. Using advanced artificial intelligence algorithms and video analytics, Transoft Solutions was able to automatically produce traffic volumes, road user speeds, and near-crash traffic conflict indicators to identify safety issues at each of the intersections.
The results of this work have been published in three technical reports, also available on the City of Bellevue’s Vision Zero Partnerships website. The project, among other findings, shows that roadway conflicts (or near-crash events), are accurate predictors of where future crashes could occur.
In 2015, the City of Bellevue adopted Vision Zero and passed a resolution providing a framework to strive to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injury collisions on city streets by 2030. To achieve this goal, it’s important to understand the problem and to develop the right tools to address it. The development of Bellevue’s Vision Zero Strategic Plan included multiple engagement opportunities with staff, community stakeholders, and partner agencies. Transoft Solutions helped the city develop a safety solution to tackle challenging road safety issues.
Franz Loewenherz, Principal Transportation Planner, City of Bellevue, said, “Transoft’s expertise in AI, computer vision, and automated video-based road safety analysis was critical for our road network screening deployment. Their analytic tools have helped the City of Bellevue to get ahead of crashes before they end up as serious injuries or fatalities. By providing a lens into critical interactions and granular information on problematic road user interactions they have helped us prioritize corrective actions to implement, as well as study the effectiveness of these treatments. Bellevue sees tremendous opportunities in video analytics to gather large amounts of safety data and to rapidly identify locations that have a high risk of crashes – based on near-crash incidents. Knowing the location, time, and type of conflicts that occur is critical to identifying countermeasures and eliminating crashes.”
David Braunstein, President, Together for Safer Roads, had this to say, “The progress made in Bellevue is a prime example of how much change can occur in a relatively small amount of time when the private and public sectors connect to improve road safety. ITE’s recognition of our partnership and the outcomes of Transoft’s work in Bellevue is important because it demonstrates how smart road safety projects can have a big impact. Ultimately, it’s about saving lives.”