Tag Archives: traffic safety

Applying AI & Procedural Generation to Traffic Safety #ProceduralGeneration #AI #trafficsafety

Each part of my life is somehow interwoven with the others. Today our oldest son, Isaac Karth, is on his way to give a presentation on a paper which he wrote:  WaveFunctionCollapse is Constraint Solving in the Wild .

He also writes a blog on Procedural Generation: http://procedural-generation.tumblr.com/ .  “In computing, procedural generation is a method of creating data algorithmically as opposed to manually. In computer graphics, it is also called random generation and is commonly used to create textures and 3D models. In video games, it is used to automatically create large amounts of content in a game.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_generation ) And in a few weeks he will start on his PhD in Computational Media. So why am I writing about that here?

  1. Last night, he gave us a sneak preview of his presentation. While very informative, it is such an involved topic and one I don’t work with directly. So I had to concentrate hard to grasp what he was saying, but it gave me ideas about things which do impact me more directly.
  2. He also shared an Abstract he is writing for another paper/presentation. The gist of it is that World Building with ideas, which can then be used to tell stories, can also be created by Generators through the Procedural Generation process (okay, don’t count on my description of it).
  3. What that made me think of was AnnaLeah’s colorful “worlds” of characters (names and their relationships) which she created in her mind and on paper — fully intending to use them to tell stories. [I wrote about that on October 17, 2013 — a few months after the crash: The Apple of His Eye.] She never had a chance to take it any further. Maybe procedural generation could capture a glimpse of the possibilities of what she might have unfolded for us to enjoy. [Unrealized Potential ]
  4. One of the things which Isaac wants to leave with his audience of researchers is the idea that they can benefit from paying attention to how others out there in the Procedural Generation world are coming up with new ideas for tools to execute procedural generation projects and ways to apply them.

Again, why am I writing about that here?

  1. I’d like to know how procedural generation tools might be made use of to further the mandate, research & design, and installation of comprehensive underride protection.
  2. I’d also like to know how it could be put to effective use in other areas of traffic safety — e.g., to bring about a paradigm shift in how the trucking industry utilizes and protects the well-being of truck drivers , while at the same time improving the safety of other road users. Win/Win.
  3. Finally, I’d like to know how procedural generation could be put to use to create an elaborate interactive personal crash story map, as well as an interactive personal traffic safety risk digital tool to raise awareness, educate, and mobilize citizens to be part of the solution to end preventable vehicle violence. [And it could then become a required part of every driver training course, driver license testing {how much better than memorizing blood alcohol levels or points on your record} and of every application for car insurance — with periodic updates before getting your license or insurance renewed. Well, why not?]

Let’s do what we can to make the system safer — including developing and utilizing crash avoidance technologies to reduce the possibility of crashes happening. But let’s not leave the human nature of the driver totally out of the picture. Let’s keep working to make sure that drivers stay engaged in the highly-complex process of driving vehicles (especially large trucks) — not less so!

Let’s figure out what can be done to make that happen  — a matter of both personal and societal responsibility.

And don’t forget: Continue to make the vehicles more crashworthy — so that when crashes do occur, they will be more survivable!

Complex Nature of National Traffic Death Circumstances Calls for Creative & Collaborative Strategy

It is apparent to me that the complex nature of circumstances which result in one traffic/vehicle tragedy after another calls for a creative and collaborative response:

  1. It requires both personal and societal responsiveness to the problem. We are all part of the problem; we must all become part of the solution.
  2. Government and industry must not only acknowledge the extent of the problem but also their role to address it comprehensively.
  3. We must determine to what extent we value human life and health. Are we willing to pay the price to end preventable deaths?
  4. If so, then we need to find ways to appropriately share the cost of implementing safety measures.

Posts related to this:

I know that many people and organizations are already doing many things to make our roads safer. But is there anything that could be done which could have widespread impact and bring about changes more quickly? I think so.

I have summarized my thoughts here:

  1. Set a National Vision Zero Goal: Driverless Policy Making by Roger Lanctot and  Last night, Pres. Obama referred in the past tense to crash fatalities as a public health problem. and  National Vision Zero Goal: Unifying Force in Development of Automated Vehicles 
  2. Establish a National Vision Zero Task Force: Let’s establish a White House Task Force to Achieve a Vision Zero Goal of Crash Death Reduction
  3. Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to authorize Vision Zero Rulemaking:  http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Executive-Order-Draft-Application-of-Vision-Zero-Principles-to-Highway-Safety-Regulatory-Review.pdf
  4. Appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman: Traffic Safety Ombudsman (Advocate); Missing piece of Vision Zero Strategy
  5. Catalyze citizens to become part of the solution through a nationwide network of Vision Zero/Traffic Safety community groups: Vision Zero Nationwide Network of Traffic Safety Advocacy Groups: Communities Working to Save Lives

And here’s my project proposal to accomplish many of those things!  http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ALMFTS-Traffic-Safety-Ombudsman-Project-Proposal.pdf

What is an acceptable goal? North Carolina Vision Zero

“We went around the state to talk to people about Vision Zero. We’re happy to announce a new video which explains why zero is the only acceptable goal. ”

Tracy Anderson, NC Vision Zero Coordinator

Institute for Transportation Research & Education (ITRE)
North Carolina State University

“Michael Bloomberg: Automakers, developing nations must commit to auto safety”

Michael Bloomberg calls on automakers to do their part to reduce crash deaths globally:

If car crashes were an infectious disease, like malaria or polio, governments, international aid organizations and foundations would pour money and energy into stopping it — as is only right.  If that kind of determination is brought to bear on road crashes, we can save millions of lives and prevent untold amounts of heartache and grief. 

Michael Bloomberg: Automakers, developing nations must commit to auto safety, June 4, 2017, Detroit Free Press

The murderous potential of vehicles & apparent normalisation of life-threatening recklessness on our roads

When searching for Tweets with the hashtag #roadsafety — which by the way seems to be more commonly mentioned outside of the U.S. — I ran across some interesting articles:

  • The rules of the road exist to keep us safe. Why aren’t we enforcing them? by  A motorway collision with a lorry showed me how easy it is for disaster to strike – and raised my fear that excessive risk has been normalised. . . So, while you could argue that its road safety record allows the UK to coast awhile, you might also think about the two recent court cases and whether we pay due regard to the murderous potential of our vehicles. And then you might reasonably ask whether, with more rigorous enforcement, not only those serious accidents that have made the news could have been avoided, but also the many more minor ones such as ours. And who is best served by the apparent normalisation of life-threatening recklessness on our roads.
  • These Two Women Designed A 3D Zebra Crossing In Gujarat And It’s One Of A Kind! by  SOUVIK RAY Artists Saumya Pandya Thakkar and Shakuntala Pandya from Ahmedabad designed something innovative that not only serves an artistic purpose but ensures road safety for pedestrians. The motto was to increase the attention of drivers through new flat patterns of Zebra Crossings.

“EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements”

EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements, February 10, 2017, European Transport Safety Council

Eight EU transport ministers have called on the European Commission to ‘speed up’ plans to upgrade vehicle safety standards saying road safety should be ‘top priority’.

In a letter to the European Commissioner for industry Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the transport ministers of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands said ‘ambitious’ new vehicle safety standards are needed ‘to help Member States halve the number of road deaths by 2020’. . .

In December 2016, the European Commission published a list of 19 lifesaving safety technologies that could be made mandatory on new vehicles in proposals expected later in 2017.  At the time, the European Transport Safety Council said several critical areas for action are missing, and the proposed timescale is far too long considering that most of the technologies are already available today.

What about the United States?

How 2 taxi drivers encouraged this traffic safety advocate

While in Washington D.C., I met several taxi drivers. The first one picked me up at Union Station and, because he misunderstood the address I gave him, we ended up having a lengthy conversation — about his family and about my traffic safety advocacy because of my daughters’ deaths due to a truck crash. It was actually healing to have this stranger, a Christian, take my family’s tragedy to heart.

He ended up giving me that ride free and gave me his phone number for rides the next day. It reminded me anew that the Lord was watching over my going out and coming in.

Then, on my ride from my hotel as I headed back home, I got into some conversation with another taxi driver. As we neared Union Station, he noticed a traffic light on a post which someone had turned. He said, “Did you see that?! That could cause a crash. I have to tell a policeman about it.”

I quickly told him my story and how I was in town to make the roads safer. I gave him my AnnaLeah and Mary for Truck Safety card and thanked him for taking the trouble to help make the roads safer.

See. . . we can do this thing together!

Roads Safer

What happens when the economic interest of society is favored over the value of saving human lives?

I just did my morning reading as I ate my breakfast and ran across the word expropriation. I decided to look it up and found its meaning peculiarly and disturbingly relevant to my passion for traffic safety.

Expropriation: (from Wikipedia) The process of expropriation “occurs when a public agency (for example, the provincial government and its agencies, regional districts, municipalities, school boards, post-secondary institutions and utilities) takes private property for a purpose deemed to be in the public interest“.

Is that what happens when a cost/benefit analysis is interpreted in favor of the economic interest of society/industry over the value of saving human lives: Our government (on behalf of We the People) sacrifices human lives for a purpose deemed to be in the public interest?

Equal Justice For All, Legal Reader, artist Neal Angeles
Equal Justice For All, Legal Reader, artist Neal Angeles

‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Enough, you princes of Israel; put away violence and destruction, and practice justice and righteousness. Stop your expropriations from My people,” declares the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 45:9

Car Safety Wars

MAY 6, 2017 in DC, Stand for Justice: Hold auto execs accountable!

Stand for Justice – Voice for Victims

Sylvan Theatre, Washington, DC

May 6, 2017

 

Stand for Justice Mission Statement

To create or change existing state and federal laws to protect consumers from automotive tragedies by:

·      Increasing public awareness.

·      Proposing legislative changes at the Federal and State level to increase accountability and safety in the automotive industry.

How do we accomplish our mission?  By:

·      Building a network of supporters in each state.

·      Tracking and keeping an up-to-date database of deaths related to nefarious acts by auto manufacturers.

·      Developing a call to action network at both the state and federal level that allows for the real time updating of information to supporters.

·      Gaining support of other individuals and groups related to this effort.

·      Donations can be made on our GoFundMe page:

https://www.gofundme.com/gmrecallsurvivors

Help us honor the victims of these senseless tragedies.  Join us in Washington on May 6th, 2017 to demand policy changes!

More details including time and location are coming soon.  STAY TUNED!

Facebook page for Washington, DC event: Stand for Justice Hold auto execs accountable!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1188835261146367/

Tragic deaths

 

Crash Deaths: The “Song” That Never Ends; Can we change that?

Did you ever sing “The Song That Never Ends”, or some variation thereof? That’s what the unending report of crash deaths on our roads seems like.

Work Zone crashes often involve multiple factors, including the actions of the drivers on the road. Hear this heartfelt plea from the widow of a highway construction worker that we all be a part of the solution:

Amy Fletcher, 7 hrs
Another Horrible crash on the Ohio Turnpike today. Something we’re all getting way to used to hearing about and, for some of us, re-living the terrifyingly devastating day of our loved one’s death. Fatal crash in construction zone on the Ohio Turnpike.

WHY should YOU care?…. “accidents” happen all the time, right? . . .

READ MORE HERE:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/494507530713925/permalink/685054441659232/

Do we have to just accept this situation as inevitable? I happen to think that we could make a big dent in it if we would set a national goal of Vision Zero Preventable Crash Deaths & Serious Injuries. I have lots of ideas on how we could work toward that — together — all of us. And I think that we need to appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman to help us accomplish it.

Unfortunately, the political climate does not favor that solution. President Obama doesn’t even seem to think that our 35,200 vehicle violence deaths in 2015 (compared to 32,514 deaths from gun violence in 2015) warrant any special attention.

And, also unfortunately, I’m thinking that some people think that we are already addressing the problem through the work of DOT. Yet their hands are too-often tied politically. Working collaboratively with them is a bit of a challenge when they can’t usually have open discussions because they can’t show even a hint of favoritism. And cost/benefit analysis restrictions have a stranglehold on any attempts to do something as radical as save lives.

It is insane that four decades have gone by without a comprehensive solution being implemented to protect us against Death by Underride. We who have gone to the moon and can have face time with someone on the other side of the globe. And that deadly problem is one example among thousands of safety issues that still need to be tackled.

Sign our Petition calling for a Traffic Safety Ombudsman (an advocate for past & future crash victims): http://www.thepetitionsite.com/384/321/600/end-preventable-crash-fatalities-appoint-a-national-traffic-safety-ombudsman/

Violence