These Smarter Stoplights Could Be Lifesavers

“The video, it’s talking to you,” says Mark de la Vergne, Detroit’s chief of mobility innovation. “Before, you would just get numbers. Now, we know where they are crossing. We know when they are crossing. We know how many people are driving through a red light. That’s going to help us inform a lot of our work in the next few years.”

Like many cities’ signals, Detroit’s newest intersection lights can prioritize signals for emergency vehicles such as ambulances and police cars. But they can also help make crossings safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The lights can extend green signals for cyclists who wouldn’t otherwise be able to clear the intersection in time, and the system can alert Waze users or connected vehicles that jaywalkers are ahead.