Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London, England, has recently announced that the city will be testing a smart pedestrian crossing system.  Johnson has made the claim the system has never been tested anywhere else in the world before.

Whilst car manufacturers are working on pedestrian detection tech for cars, the city of London wants to make the traffic systems a safer place for pedestrians. They plan to do this by equipping the city’s crossings with a stack of sensors and various monitoring devices.

Pedestrian Safety Concerns

The smart crossing uses cameras which are mounted onto traffic lights to detect if pedestrians are increasing and then it automatically adjusts the signals to give larger crowds a longer time to cross the street.

The city’s transportation agency is also planning to tweak the system, so that the lights can change more quickly once everybody is safely on the other side of the crossing.

If the concept of this smart crossing sounds familiar, it is because it was inspired by London’s Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique or SCOOT system, as its known, which automatically changes the traffic signal, depending upon the traffic flow. Unlike SCOOT, which is already active in 3,000 locations, this system is only in its preliminary stages.

The fact is that pilot testing has only been chalked up to begin in the summer of this year, outside Balham and Tooting Bec underground tube stations.  More locations and also cyclist detection, will follow if it the system ends up to be successful.

Pedestrian accidents happen everywhere.  In the US in 2010 alone, 4,280 pedestrians were killed , so it would be good if the system makes its way around the globe in the future.

Do you think that this system will help pedestrians when it comes road safety?  Will this assist in the traffic management of the city centre? If you have any sensible comments regarding this story, please leave your comments in the section below.

[Image via theknitnursechronicles]