VivaCity and Waka Kotahi join forces for a world first road safety study

Friday, 1 September, 2023
VivaCity and Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency will be partnering in a world first near miss study to help improve the understanding of road safety for our most vulnerable road users.

The study will leverage VivaCity’s Near Miss detection technology, investigating the relationship between near miss events with historical accident data. Focussing on potentially dangerous interactions between road vehicles with cyclists and motorcycles, VivaCity and Waka Kotahi will investigate what correlations may exist in the data that could potentially inform a predictive model for cycling and motorcycling safety. The data will also be used to identify and prioritise safety interventions.

We are extremely proud to partner with Waka Kotahi for such an important and innovative project. The results of this study will provide global benefits for all transport authorities, and most importantly the cyclists and motorcyclists whose safety they are responsible for.

Ben Rippingale, ANZ Business Lead

Funding for the project is from Waka Kotahi’s Hoe ki angitu Transport Innovation Fund. The Fund was launched in June 2022 to accelerate the development and deployment of innovative solutions to the country’s biggest transport challenges. The focus of this Round was on safer roadworks, more efficient urban freight movement and improved shared space for different transport users.

30 AI-powered sensors will be deployed to analyse near miss events

VivaCity will receive $285,550 to deploy 30 of their award-winning traffic monitoring sensors across selected New Zealand cities. The sensors employ artificial intelligence to classify, count and track pedestrians and road users in 3D. The edge-processing solution has recently been upgraded to capture near-miss events, deriving data on proximity, time to collision, and post encroachment time (i.e. time taken for paths to cross).

VivaCity sensors can detect a range of road user classifications with market-leading accuracy

Users will filter incidents using these parameters to analyse Near Miss events and identify the root cause of ‘almost’ accidents – interactions that do not result in human injury, environment or equipment damage, but contribute to risk perception and present hazards to road users, particularly Active Transport. A cluster of near misses at a location can be an indicator of underlying danger, and this insight will enable Waka Kotahi to make cost-effective, targeted interventions to improve road safety, based on empirical evidence, supporting the Road to Zero initiative.

“Such studies have not previously been feasible due to the cost and difficulties involved to capture all the necessary data. Edge AI now makes this a reality, exceeding human capabilities to detect a near miss event. People need to feel it’s safe for them and their families to cycle on our roads, and by demonstrating a proactive approach to safety analysis we can foster community confidence to switch to healthier, low emissions transport.”

Ben Rippingale, ANZ Business Lead

Video footage of near miss events is irrevocably blurred by the sensor to ensure no personally identifiable imagery is captured, complying with New Zealand’s strict data privacy regulations.

Near Miss heatmaps
Heatmaps illustrate the most high-risk areas of the road within a sensor’s field of view.

Learn more about our smart traffic products and get in touch with team if you have any questions.

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