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Lakeland's busiest intersections will get artificial intelligence sensors to prevent crashes

red light pilot program.PNG
Posted at 8:16 PM, Apr 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-11 22:47:12-04

LAKELAND, Fla. — Lakeland is using artificial intelligence to reduce the number of deadly car crashes.

We’ve all seen that driver who speeds into the intersection trying to beat the red light. The City of Lakeland is using artificial intelligence so that traffic signals can identify reckless drivers before they cause a crash.

Vehicles caught running through red lights in Lakeland

“It will tell us as a car is approaching the intersection, the likelihood of it stopping,” said Jeff Weatherford, traffic operations manager for the City of Lakeland.

Lakeland's Intersection Collision Avoidance Safety Program, or iCASP works by delaying the green light of cross-traffic up to four seconds, when sensors detect a vehicle is going to run a red light.

“There are actually several sensors, but the furthest one out is about 150 feet from the stop line,” Weatherford said.

The Florida Department of Transportation is investing $500,000 to expand the city’s red light-running detection program, to 25 high-impact intersections. Lakeland has already been operating the red light running sensors at four major intersections, in a pilot program since last February. The data shows a significant amount of red-light runners putting the lives of other drivers at risk.

“In a 24-hour period, there were 45 cars that ran the red light, were in the intersection while the light was red, at that intersection headed eastbound and we had zero crashes that day,” Weatherford said.

The smart system makes a split-second decision, potentially avoiding deadly collisions.

The city is also looking at incorporating a new mobile app with iCASP to alert drivers of a red-light runner.

“Phone apps that will run in the background, being able to send out an alert to a driver that will warn them, ‘caution, watch for crossing traffic,'” said Weatherford.