The excerpted article was written by JAMES SNELL | Winnipeg Sun
Winnipeg-based engineering startup MicroTraffic has launched a grant funding program in partnership with Aviva Canada insurance to help Canadian cities improve road safety.
MicroTraffic uses artificial intelligence technology and existing traffic cameras to automatically detect and trace vehicle speeds, pedestrians, and bicycles to identify near misses. If the system detects that near misses are unusually high for a particular road or pedestrian crossing, municipalities can use data to change signal timing, add signs, or even reconfigure the layout of an intersection.
Craig Milligan, CEO and co-founder of MicroTraffic, said on Monday that providing traffic analysts information based on serious near-misses means the company can tell them where and how the next fatalities are likely to happen.
“This really is a game-changer for cities, so we’re encouraging all municipalities and provincial road authority departments to apply so we can work with them to make their local roads safer,” he explained.
Milligan said the Aviva partnership could mean great things for company expansion, adding the program allows cities to try the technology on a risk-reduced basis.
“We have a 22 person team of artificial intelligence scientists, data scientists and road safety engineers,” he said. “Every startup dreams of going public (on a stock exchange) but we have a lot of work to do to build the company right now.”
The company said in a news release that almost eight in 10 road fatalities happen where no fatalities had occurred previously, adding only historical crash data that involves a fatality — not near misses — is currently being used to change road infrastructure in many cities.
To date, 40 governmental departments and agencies in North America — including in the Greater Toronto Area, Los Angeles, Austin, Detroit, New Jersey, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton have programmed over $200 million of road safety improvements using MicroTraffic’s diagnostic technology.
The grant program, which is financed by Aviva, is open to traffic safety and road management agencies until Sept. 8. Applicants must be from cities with 100,000 or more people in order to be eligible for the program. Up to five cities — 10 intersections per city — will be selected.
Grant decisions will be based on the needs of each city and their commitment to road safety and collaboration.
Selected agencies are expected to pay 25% of the costs up to maximum of $12,500.