Street Sensors And Cameras In Pennsylvania: Urban Asset Or Privacy Concern?

The rise of cheap, high-quality cameras means people should expect to see more of them on the road, according to Stan Caldwell of the Traffic 21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. The Traffic 21 Institute uses Pittsburgh as a testing ground for a lot of “smart” city technologies aimed at improving transit.

Here’s one example: cities have, for years, used loop detectors — basically a piece of wire in the ground near an intersection — to tell when a car is approaching and the light should turn green. Those are slowly being replaced by above-ground sensors and, eventually, cameras.  “When you have a camera, you can start to get a little more information and start to get into what we’re calling predictive analytics,” said Caldwell. “You can say, ‘what’s the chance [that driver] is going to be turning left instead of going straight?'”