Winnipeg-based road safety engineers want to make city roads safer

Winnipeg experts are studying misses to prevent collisions in the future.

Winnipeg-based road safety engineer Craig Milligan co-founded the firm called MicroTraffic about a year and a half ago. He created a team of 16 more people to make city roads safer for drivers and passengers.

"We're looking for situations where a serious injury or fatality was narrowly avoided,” said Milligan. "They're looking for abnormally elevated risk levels so that they can get out and proactively make improvement before a serious fatality or injury happens."

Winnipeg experts used data on accidents that have been collected over the years. However, that data was not enough. The engineers decided to go ahead and try to improve the situation on the city’s roads.

"We can predict future safety of the site before accidents actually occur,” said Penner, MicroTraffic’s manager of engineering operations. "Regularly, we hear about people being seriously injured or killed and I don't think it's a necessary byproduct of the system and I'm really proud of how we're able to use our tools to make life better for everyone in a really recognizable way."

MicroTraffic workers use a computer program that is controlled by artificial intelligence. The program analyzes all road situations and helps to increase safety.

"So, for example, one vehicle quickly passes in front of another, that's an indication of maybe some type of unsafe traffic conflict, and that's what we extract and use to look at safety,” said Dueck, MicroTraffic’s manager of development and computer vision.

The study of collision prediction on the roads began about ten years ago. The Canadian scientist promoted the theory that the study of near misses has a great connection with the expected number of road collisions.

At the moment Winnipeg does not use cameras to record near misses. However, the city authorities are very interested in studying this aspect.

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