//CMU smart traffic signals may accommodate slower pedestrians

CMU smart traffic signals may accommodate slower pedestrians

September 19, 2017

Stacey Federoff Digital Producer Pittsburgh Business Times
Sep 19, 2017, 2:25pm EDT

Smart traffic signals could communicate with pedestrians’ smartphones to change lights in real time, thanks to a two-year project underway at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute.

A $2 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration will help fund work led by CMU robotics Professor Stephen Smith to develop a system that relays information from a user’s smartphone directly the smart traffic signals, according to a news release.

This system could help adjust the signals’ timing to accommodate users who need extra time to cross at busy intersections.

Smith previously led projects to develop signals that monitor traffic to alter their timing and cut down on idling.

Rapid Flow Technologies, a spinoff company, installed that technology at 50 intersections in Pittsburgh’s East End neighborhoods.

For this project, focused on accessibility, a set of existing smart signals at Baum Boulevard and Centre Avenue near Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in the first year.

In the second year, smart signals are planned for two additional intersections near the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind.