Making intersections safer with I2V communication


Intersections are hazardous places. Threats arise from interactions among pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles, more complicated vehicle trajectories in the absence of lane markings, phases that prevent determining who has the right of way, invisible vehicle approaches, vehicle obstructions, and illegal movements. These challenges are not fully addressed by the “road diet” and road redesign prescribed in Vision Zero plans, nor will they be completely overcome by autonomous vehicles with their many sensors and tireless attention to surroundings. Accidents can also occur because drivers, cyclists and pedestrians do not have the information they need to avoid wrong decisions. In these cases, the missing information can be computed and broadcast by an intelligent intersection. The information gives the current full signal phase, an estimate of the time when the phase will change, and the occupancy of the blind spots of the driver or autonomous vehicle. The paper develops a design of the intelligent intersection, motivated by the analysis of an accident at an intersection in Tempe, AZ, between an automated Uber Volvo and a manual Honda CRV and culminates in a proposal for an intelligent intersection infrastructure. The intelligent intersection also serves as a software-enabled version of the ‘protected intersection’ design to improve the passage of cyclists and pedestrians through an intersection.

Publication date: 
March 25, 2019
Publication type: 
Journal Article