Make Intersections Safer: Call for Entrants at Transportation Forecasting Competition (TRANSFOR 22)

According to the US Department of Transportation, one pedestrian is killed by a vehicle every 85 minutes in the United States. Wheelchair users alone are 36% more likely to be killed in a road accident compared to the general public. Unfortunately, there is currently little data to reveal the risk factors that make intersections more dangerous for certain groups.

To help address this challenge, the Transportation Forecasting Competition (TRANSFOR 22) is calling on teams, or individual contestants, to register by November 14 and develop creative and innovative approaches to help make our cities safer. In this competition, contestants will be utilizing datasets to improve roads for our most vulnerable users, including individuals with limited mobility, cyclists, and people pushing strollers.

TRANSFOR 22 contestants will be provided with robust LiDAR data collected from an intersection in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, labeled with pedestrian, vehicle, bike, and subclassification features of object size and velocity. Contestants will have the ability to evaluate the data accuracy of vulnerable pedestrian groups and predict the time needed for them to safely cross a street. LiDAR, along with 3D computer vision software, is used to provide enriched three-dimensional views of the intersection regardless of weather conditions or time-of-day.

Currently, traffic signals in downtown Chattanooga are pre-timed and pedestrians must call phases to cross. Vulnerable users would benefit from a more dynamic signaling approach that can recognize and distinguish users requiring more (or less) time based on mode and/or mobility. By enabling real-time detection using advanced, digital 3D LiDAR systems installed on infrastructure, municipalities would have greater potential to improve traffic safety at intersections without compromising personal privacy.

The top three entrants will present their projects as part of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Computing Applications (AED50) during the upcoming Annual Meeting of TRB in January 2022. The final winner will be selected based on classification accuracy, novelty of solutions, quality of the code, and quality of the presentation. First prize will be awarded $3,000, second prize $2,000, and third prize $1,000. To register and learn more about the competition and the data, please visit the TRANSFOR 22 website.

This competition is organized by the TRB AED50 Committee with the support of IEEE ITSS Technical Activities Sub-Committee “Smart Mobility and Transportation 5.0.” Data for TRANSFOR 22 is from one of the intersections on the MLK Smart Corridor, an urban testbed in downtown Chattanooga. The Center for Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) owns and operates the testbed. Seoul Robotics and Ouster are co-sponsoring the prizes for TRANSFOR 22, with CUIP and the City of Chattanooga, serving as proud sponsors and contributors.

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