Houston-area city will use AI to improve safety, traffic flow at intersections

January 19, 2024

A traffic system that uses artificial intelligence is expected to improve traffic flow and public safety in the Houston-area city of Sugar Land.

The detection system fuses radar, video and vision AI technologies to identify and track vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles as they enter intersections. If it detects stalled vehicles and accidents, it will send an automated notification to the traffic management center and law enforcement.

It can also measure how long a vehicle or pedestrian waits at an intersection as well as what percentage of vehicles arrive during red or green lights. The system will also detect and record vehicles as they run red lights. All collected data is saved in the cloud for later use.

“With the fast-growing use of artificial intelligence, the traffic industry is seeing devices and systems that can perform tasks that were considered unfeasible before,” City Traffic Engineer James Turner said in a release.

NoTraffic, a Tel Aviv-based company, developed the AI-based system. City Council members recently approved a $2.7 million contract to buy equipment for each of the city’s 92 traffic signals. Installation will begin soon and continue for an estimated nine months, city officials said.

The purchase supports the city’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), a five-year initiative designed to increase situational awareness, insight and safety on roads by using advanced technology and information systems.

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Photo courtesy of Fort Bend County

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

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