Anders demonstrating the intelligent traffic lights

Intelligent Traffic Lights at Kreator

On the 14th of March the STARTntnu held the Kreator exhibition at Realfagsbygget. The goal of the exhibition is to inspire students and other visitors to create and explore new ideas. The GEMINI center was invited to participate with their “intelligent traffic lights”.

The intelligent traffic lights project is based on another GEMINI lab project called intelligent sliding doors. The idea behind both projects is to use 3D cameras to capture the movement of people.In the sliding door project, the idea is to make a door open only when someone is trying to walk through it. The cameras capture body position and movement, and tries to infer the intention of the person. For example if the person is facing the door and moving towards it, chances are that the person wants to go through the door. The traffic light basically does the same thing. It uses the position and movement of pedestrians to infer whether or not a pedestrian wants to cross the street. In addition, the traffic light has sensors in the road to detect the flow of traffic. A CBR (case based reasoning) learning system is running in the background to pick the optimal time to switch the lights based on the amount of traffic, and the number of pedestrians.

The traffic lights were featured in a segment on Schrödingers katt, the NRK science show last year. The segment is available on the NRK nett-tv here.

The traffic lights are currently being improved upon by Jostein Klakegg. Jostein is working on classifying the pedestrians to detect children and handicapped people. This would make the lights able to adapt to different walking speeds and possibly help avoid accidents involving children running into traffic.

Other improvements we hope to make to the system in the future is to have the intention inference learn over time and adapt to different pedestrians. We would also like to test out safeguards against the lights changing while pedestrians are still crossing the street.