Highways Voices 28 February - Using AI to make roads safer with VivaCity and West Midlands Combined Authority

Highways Voices

Feb 27 2024 • 34 mins

"You can't change behaviour if you don't know what the behaviour is," comments Darren Divall, Regional Road Safety Manager from the West Midlands Combined Authority on this week's Highways Voices. "You can't increase enforcement of speed limits until you know what the reason is why people are speeding, and it might be that that's the behaviour issue, it might be that it's an infrastructure issue where we don't have a very well designed road for the speed limits that we've got or that we've not got a self enforcing environment. So it can be a mixture of things, but the evidence drives everything."

So how do you get the evidence? Joining Darren as a guest this week is Flora McFarlane, Head of Growth and Partnerships at VivaCity who discusses a solution using AI to learn about near misses and alert highways managers to where potential crash sites.

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"We are providing sensors that are continuously monitoring the road space and able to see everything that is going on," she explains. "We can identify lots of different types of road users... and provide insights and analytics based on what's actually happening at real time, and before and after safety interventions. Now, what that means is that we're able to continuously see levels of road danger as well, so we can see interactions such as near misses, problematic passes, dangerous left turns, right turns at junctions, and provide that data to the likes of transport for West Midlands to understand where - and it's a horrible phrase - accidents are waiting to happen."

The pair also discuss road safety partnerships and prevention strategies, and issues around funding road safety solutions and how budgets work.

You'll also hear some of the latest headlines from the Highways News website, news from our partners including ITMF funding guidance from the Department for Transport and ITS UK's call to the Chancellor ahead of the budget, plus who wins Adrian's Accolade this week.

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