typodupeerror

## MIT Algorithm Predicts Red Light Runners348

Posted by timothy
from the jail's-too-good-for-them dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Researchers at MIT have developed an algorithm that determines which drivers will run a red light, within one to two seconds before a potential collision. The research, based on 15,000 cars at a busy intersection, monitored various factors to determine which cars were were likely to run a red light. They found that their predictions were correct about 85 percent of the time, which is about 15-20 percent better than existing traffic prediction algorithms."
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## MIT Algorithm Predicts Red Light Runners

• #### Just a matter of time... (Score:1, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:36PM (#38227968)

With this, its just a matter of time before these "predicted" red light runners are ticketed for their "pre-crime".... We slide further down the slope that Huxley warned us about....

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:40PM (#38228038)
One would think that they simply will wait all of the 2 seconds to check that the driver actually runs the red light.
It's not like you can deploy a SWAT team in front of the driver in time to stop him from running the light and never know if he would actually have done it.
• #### Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (Score:5, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:45PM (#38228178)

Predict that every car will not run the light. My prediction is correct much more than 85% of the time. Why aren't I in the news?

• #### Re:Wirelessly (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:45PM (#38228188)

On the other hand, if everyone is being told to not enter the intersection because someone might run the red light, then you can more safely run red lights.

That's got to count for something....

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:47PM (#38228224) Journal

We slide further down the slope that Huxley warned us about....

Sure, let's stop any applied sociological and psychological research whatsoever because OMG 1984 STALIN HITLER!!!

Not all slopes are slippery.

• #### Now what ? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @01:48PM (#38228240)

Does the red get held on the cross street longer ?

That just makes the red-runners life a lot more safer and encourages the behavior.

Does it trigger the 5ton metal barrier at the stop line ?

That make sit safer for the cross street and discourages the behavior. But we don't have the 5ton barriers.

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:5, Insightful)

<sjc.carpanet@net> on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:13PM (#38228804) Homepage

Congradulations, you just invented the "delayed green". You should patent it, before the guy who has been setting intersections around here up like that for years does. We have them all over the place. Also.... I really wish that articles like this would get beyond things like "see we can do it". I would love to see what it is that predicts these actions, and see if it says anything about whats going on.

Cuz in the end, its not about catching people who run lights. Enforcing the law is not an end in and of itself, its supposed to be a means to an end. Who cares if we can "catch" more people? It may feel good and let someone justify their job with some metrics but, it doesn't solve the original problem of risks and dangers....not in anything even approaching a realistic way.

Like the delayed green... I would think that a very slight delay would cause any such accidents to drop off. In fact, as I said, we have lights timed like this all over the place, and while I have seen a few accidents, the only "red light running" one I know of involved a drunk guy blowing through a light that was just plain red, not even green and turning.... I don't think anything is going to solve that one, there will always be a few true idiots.

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:17PM (#38228864) Journal

The easiest way to reduce red light running is to make yellows longer.
It's more effective than a red light camera, but not nearly as profitable.

• #### Red light delay. (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:19PM (#38228884)

Years ago I was sitting at light. The light turns green and the driver in front of me starts going oblivious to the car that's sailing down the road and clearly not intending on stopping for the red. So this guy slams right into the guy in front of me.

This was back when a light would turn green almost immediately after the intersecting street's light would go red. Drivers in my city are notorious for flaunting the rules and generally driving like jerks, but it was rare to have someone go through a red because people were aware of the risk involved.

Then at some point in the past 10-15 years traffic engineers got the idea to delay the interval between one light turning red and the next going green. So now there's a good 2+ second delay where all lights are red.

What has been the side-effect of this change? Now people brazenly blow through red lights. And the thing is that I've seen it happen everywhere, upscale and low-income areas alike. I've seen lines of 3-5 cars keep on going through when the light had clearly gone red. It's so bad sometimes that there are still cars in the intersection after the other light has already turned green, and this is with the aforementioned delay.

But yeah, it's pretty easy to spot the ones who aren't going to stop. They're the ones still moving at a good clip and making no attempt to slow down and stop.

This is why I'm somewhat supportive of stop light cameras. It's not like speed cameras which don't really target the real problem, aggressive or careless driving. Going through a red light poses real danger and is a clear example of reckless driving. Of course, I realize that stop light cameras are abused as well; one popular tactic being to shorten the yellow in order to boost the number of offenders. Otherwise running red lights is a persistent problem I don't really see anyone addressing. Probably because it involves more effort and brings in less revenue than going after speeders.

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:21PM (#38228950)

SLIPPERY SLOPE FALLACY DETECTED.

The only slippery slope fallacy is the claim that when you give government new powers they won't abuse them and extend them to the ultimate limit. Occasionally that's true, but usually only because the powers become obsolete due to technological change, or because voters prevent them from doing so.

And I'm rather amused to see someone with 'Hail Eris' in their sig ranting about EVIL LIBERTARIANS.

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:4, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:33PM (#38229182)
Shit, if you want to fix this problem it's simple. Stop with the cameras and other bullshit.

Have a mechanism that can quickly raise a physical barrier (nice thick steel plate or something) in front of where you're supposed to stop at the red. The barrier lowers when it's green.

Or have a hole that would stop a car just like a ditch, that gets bridged when the light turns green. Now yellow means "prepare to stop" not "punch the gas and hope you don't hit somebody". Problem solved. With that covered, you can then design the lights and the timings between lights to minimize stopping both for travel efficiency and fuel economy.

I also wish they'd put concrete posts every so often wherever there is a double-yellow line. So you bought an SUV and refuse to learn how to handle a vehicle that size? Okay. You get to pay for repairs when you cross the median and strike the concrete posts. Fucking tired of putting my tires in grass because some idiot who hopped on the "must have an SUV" bandwagon decided that being halfway in my lane on a blind curve was his best move. You want to eliminate this kind of idiocy, make it more painful and make the consequences more confined to the person who is the idiot. You think that's harsh? Ever been hit by one of these morons? Getting hit by an SUV is pretty harsh too. Seems proportional to me.

Oh and if you want to fix tailgating, put a spike or a spear on the back of each vehicle pointed downwards from the roof towards the driver's side, right at the height where the windshield of the vehicle behind would be. Suddenly everyone will be more courteous and use a good following distance. Not because they really have any respect for the law or the safety of other drivers, but because being impaled is likely to be a slow lingering death and they will fear it.

If there are going to be so many childish, impatient, stupid people and for some reason we're giving them licenses, might as well recognize what you're dealing with. They don't care that their stupidity might kill someone. They don't care about the measly little fine they might get since for some reason failure to yield (you know that thing that actually causes accidents) is a minor violation like speeding (which doesn't). They don't care that having a cellphone in one hand and a cheeseburger in the other to satiate their fatass appetite is dangerous. So let's quit coddling them since it doesn't work and move on to something they do care about. They do care when there is a certain, immediate, severe consequence. That gets the attention of even the most selfish bastards.
• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @02:50PM (#38229420)

> Have a mechanism that can quickly raise a physical barrier (nice thick steel plate or something) in front of where you're supposed to stop at the red. The barrier lowers when it's green.

From what I've seen where I llive, you don't need anything anywhere near that drastic. People here will slow down to 2 mph and carefully and gingerly make their way over three-inch speed bumps.

So, have *five*-inch mechanical speed bumps at the stop lines, synchronized with the lights. The drivers' brains will explode as they struggle to decide which animal urge to follow, to display their status by blasting through the light, or protect their property by stopping.

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @03:00PM (#38229582)

Cuz in the end, its not about catching people who run lights. Enforcing the law is not an end in and of itself, its supposed to be a means to an end. Who cares if we can "catch" more people? It may feel good and let someone justify their job with some metrics but, it doesn't solve the original problem of risks and dangers....not in anything even approaching a realistic way.

Unfortunately, while sane, thoughtful people would come to this conclusion, someone, somewhere would rather make a profit off of it. This isn't theoretical, it's already happened, as some cities would rather profit at the expense and injury of motorists. What this does to insurance and medical rates I hate to think.

This sort of thing would be great for "dynamic yellow lights," as you implied. A sane, rational person would use this to make a yellow light last a little longer to prevent an accident. People like the above could widen the range a little and make it shorten the yellow light to catch a few extra bucks. It's not the technology; this algorithm is cool and great. It's the few abusers.

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:2, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 01, 2011 @04:33PM (#38230946)

The easiest way to reduce red light running is to make yellows longer.

And when people discover yellow lights are longer? They know they have more time to catch the yellow light before it changes to red.

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @05:03PM (#38231280)

The person tailgating you is likely going faster than you. So why do you feel it's your right/duty to block them? You are not the enforcer of laws. Get out of the way, let them go by, or whatever. It's not your job to police people. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Why do you feel they have a higher-priority right to go faster than I do to go the speed I'm going? If they don't like the speed I'm driving, they can pass me. It's not like I'm driving under the speed limit - I'm generally a few MPH above it. Also you apparently think tailgating only happens on freeways, since "getting out of the way" isn't practical on a two lane road.

My solution to tailgating is to slow down. As soon as they back off - or as soon as they're not behind me (passing or whatever) - I immediately return to normal speed. But, frankly, if they're going to drive in a way that increases the chances of an accident involving me, I'm going to make sure any accident happens at a lower speed.

• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:1, Insightful)

on Thursday December 01, 2011 @07:25PM (#38232700)
Most speed limits are BS and/or illegally set in the first place, so that's a pointless reference to go by. The bottom line is that if everyone else is going faster than you, then YOU are the safety problem on the road, not everyone else. The safest speed for everyone is that of the rest of traffic (proven by numerous studies and the reason the law is written to setup speed limits at this level). If you don't want to go that fast, that's your choice... but then you need to get out of the way. Slowing down in front of a tailgater is just you being an asshole... especially if you then speed up as they pass you. By doing so, you're breaking more laws with your idiotic behavior than the person who is speeding (speeding up when being passed, not allowing faster vehicles to pass you, slowing down for no reason, etc)... you are the unsafe driver, not everyone else.

Learn the rules of the road that we ALL have to SHARE. You are not the only one on the road, and it's not YOUR road. Drive safely so that you avoid ANY accident, rather than creating one "at a lower speed".
• #### Re:Just a matter of time... (Score:4, Insightful)

on Friday December 02, 2011 @03:51AM (#38235268) Journal

The person tailgating you is likely going faster than you. So why do you feel it's your right/duty to block them? You are not the enforcer of laws. Get out of the way, let them go by, or whatever. It's not your job to police people. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

Why do you feel they have a higher-priority right to go faster than I do to go the speed I'm going? If they don't like the speed I'm driving, they can pass me. It's not like I'm driving under the speed limit - I'm generally a few MPH above it. Also you apparently think tailgating only happens on freeways, since "getting out of the way" isn't practical on a two lane road.

My solution to tailgating is to slow down. As soon as they back off - or as soon as they're not behind me (passing or whatever) - I immediately return to normal speed. But, frankly, if they're going to drive in a way that increases the chances of an accident involving me, I'm going to make sure any accident happens at a lower speed.

As a motorcyclist, I take this same approach. Fuck you tailgaters, I don't want to die, because you want to following me so close. If you're going to decrease your reaction time to me stopping, then I'm going to reduce the chance that I'm going to have to stop. And don't flip me the bird when you drive by... it's my fucking LIFE on the line... worst you have to deal with is the insurance totalling your car...

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