The transportation infrastructure is on the cusp of a major shift from predesigned controls and patterning to dynamic AI-driven and IOT communication. The smart city projects and companies within the existing markets do a good job of supporting emerging needs, but these needs are frequently targeted at vehicles and traffic control.
Recent years have seen increased improvements around bicycle travel, but pedestrian traffic has not yet seen such dynamic integration. Pedestrian safety is a growing concern as the demand for walkable and sustainable cities grows due to environmental, health, and traffic issues (spatial and temporal variations in congestion due to the number of vehicles). The increasing number of quieter hybrid/electric vehicles and the anticipated growing number of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) could have a catalytic effect and change the dynamics at a faster rate.
These quieter connected and autonomous vehicles also present unexpected challenges for unique groups, like individuals with visual impairments, who may make use of pre-existing travel patterns and features like engine noise to navigate urban environments safely. As a shift emerges to meet the needs of pedestrians in an IOT-connected transportation system, it will be important to ensure equitable access. This access can be explored by taking a Universal Design (UX) approach to meeting the needs of the most challenging pedestrians while implementing dynamic solutions to current and near horizon problems.
This project seeks to bridge this gap and innovate the necessary tools to meet near horizon challenges in smart city pedestrian travel. The core work of this project will involve data collection, secure communication systems with traffic systems, and user notifications meeting UX design needs.