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TfNSW to use AI to predict accidents

Transport for NSW has identified previously unknown road blackspots by using artificial intelligence and big data to analyse driver behaviour. A pilot program carried out in Wollongong by the enterprise data and analytic services team was able to identify five dangerous intersections that weren’t previously flagged as black spots by analysing driver behaviour.

The 2019 trial, the results of which were announced in late November 2020, compared telematics data from the trial sites to data from intersections where accidents had previously occurred. The telematics data identified behaviour like speed, harsh braking, sudden acceleration and lateral movement just before the intersection.

The fifty vehicles in sent 25 telematics records every second over 10 months, generating a massive amount of data.

Using a model developed from crash investigation data from other known black spots, the team was able to predict if an intersection was potentially hazardous.

The data discovery leader at Transport for NSW stated that the team had a circle of interest around the intersection.

“When is the vehicle actually approaching the intersection, how does it behave at 50 metres, how does it behave at 25 metres, how does it behave going through the intersection?” she asked.

The leader stated that the department has been building its AI and machine learning capability since 2018 as part of its strategy to reduce road deaths and injury. AI technologies provided by an American multinational technology company including Stack, Databricks and Azure were used to ingest, curate and interpret the data.

Two of the five intersections identified during the proof of concept have now been targeted for safety upgrades in the next year. The technology can also potentially be applied to railway lines and school zones, the data discovery leader said.

Transport is not just roads. The team is looking at railway lines and is thinking about pedestrians and school zones. Moreover, they are thinking about how this type of data can be used and enriched with other types of data to further improve the safety of the network.

Transport for NSW: Innovation will get people safely back into the Sydney CBD

In a press release from 24 November 2020, Transport for NSW called on start-ups and industry to take part in a challenge exploring technology and innovation that will encourage the safe return of customers as they visit and play in the city of Sydney.

The impact COVID-19 has had on businesses in the city has been substantial, with workers staying home and a loss of tourists and international students, the Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary Customer Strategy and Technology said.

Through this challenge, the agency is looking to revitalise the City of Sydney encouraging people to travel in a COVID Safe manner to boost the economy and support businesses as they rebuild. Transport for NSW will work with other government agencies and local councils to implement the winning solutions over the next two months.

The challenge asks innovators to imagine ideas that will create unique and connected experiences for visitors into the City while encouraging COVID Safe practices.

“This has been a difficult year for everyone. We hope this challenge will help to breathe life back into Sydney through new and inclusive activities, events and festivals and bring some joy for Sydneysiders and visitors,” the Deputy Secretary Customer Strategy and Technology added.

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