In 2022, 42,795 people were killed in crashes on American roads. The previous year, 42,939 died, suggesting that for all the promises, society made no progress in reducing the unacceptable tragedy of roadway fatalities. But what if one year, everyone who left their driveway in the morning made it home safely? What if we could reduce the number to Zero? At Yunex Traffic, we believe it can happen.
It’s best articulated in the goal of the Vision Zero Network campaign to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. Vision Zero began in Sweden in the 1990s and has seen success in Europe through steady focus and safety deployments, Now, the concept is gaining momentum in the United States.
Vision Zero: Taking the Initiative
As one of very few traffic management companies still investing in research and development, we’ve built our entire Yutraffic suite of solutions with the goals of Vision Zero in mind, and the first stop on the road to improved safety is changing the century old mindset that traffic deaths are inevitable. We know they’re preventable. Traditional thought suggests that saving lives is expensive, time-consuming and risky. We know that with ingenuity, data, and smartly designed tools, preventing deaths can be affordable, simple and most importantly, possible.
From intersections to road networks, Yunex Traffic is focused on providing traffic managers with Vision Zero solutions and data analytics that empower them to actively help save lives. Intersection safety is an essential priority for any Vision Zero focused agency, as FHWA estimates that one-third of all intersection fatalities occur at traffic signal locations, including a large number involving red light running. We know actionable data is key to reducing crashes, and our new Yutraffic Blade is designed to produce comprehensive intersection analytics while running an endless number of third-party safety applications. It’s the most advanced traffic controller in history, and by adding as many detectors as necessary without any additional hardware, it can cost effectively play a significant role in not only identifying problems, but also creating safety strategies.
But what about safety across a network? With Yutraffic Insights, you can analyze all of your intersections to identify problem areas that may be creating a domino effect of additional accidents and traffic conflicts during high volume and off-peak times. Using AI and Machine learning, Yutraffic Insights will actually help you predict and optimize your signal timing to alleviate congestion that is contributing to secondary accidents and acts of frustration like speeding to beat the light, and often running it.
Protecting Vulnerable Road Users
However, there’s an even broader traffic management picture to take into consideration. At Yunex Traffic, we’re thinking outside the box, by thinking about interactions outside the vehicle. While most solutions focus on protecting drivers and passengers, we’re extremely committed to protecting vulnerable road users. That’s crucial because in the first 9 months of 2022, pedestrian fatalities increased by 2% and cyclist deaths by 8%. In fact, the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) projected that more than 7,500 pedestrians we’re killed that year, making it the most lethal year fort pedestrian deaths in the U.S. since 1981.
As the creator of world’s most deployed connected vehicle Roadside Units (RSUs), we’re working to reduce these trends by putting immediate safety information in the hands of both the driver and the vulnerable road user. It’s the next big step to achieving Vision Zero goals. By integrating our powerful RSU2X models with Bosch video sensors, agencies can now detect pedestrians and cyclists, identify potential collisions, and deliver warnings directly into connected vehicles. But it’s not just about the technology, it’s also about the strategy of how to use it. According to NHTSA, 77% of pedestrian traffic deaths occur on open roads, versus at the intersection, which makes our efforts to place these as mid-block safety solutions a key to saving lives. Vulnerable road users also need their own set of safety tools. This is why we created the Yu2X cellphone app that puts intersection status and crosswalk control into the hands of the user, and similarly, our YuBike app gives cyclists intersection information and signal priority.
Partnering to Save Lives
You might see a theme developing here, and it’s one that everyone at Yunex Traffic takes seriously. Within our culture, everyone at our business is in the business of saving lives, and a big part of that is equipping agencies with the tools they need to meet their own Vision Zero goals. We know the technology works. According to a Rand report, Advanced Driver Assistance programs alone could save 10,000 lives per year. Achieving the goals of Vision Zero will require an all-stops-out, all-hands-in approach, but while people, particularly drivers are a huge part of the equation, the numbers have consistently proven that we can’t always count on them to lead the charge. We know a single entity can’t do it alone. That’s why we collaborate with our subsidiary, Aimsun, to deliver traffic impact, road construction analysis and Digital Twin infrastructure modeling well before a shovel ever hits the pavement to protect taxpayer money. They’re powerful software also contributes to our Vision Zero efforts by detecting sudden changes in traffic data that indicate an accident, and its incident risk prediction technology can even detect and report situations that could potentially result in roadway problems.
The goals of Vision Zero are necessary. Anything less is accepting that 20,000 lives lost per year or even 10,000 is ok, when we know that every fatality represents the worst day in the lives of one American family.
The goals of Vision Zero are attainable, but we have no illusions. It’s the heaviest kind of lift with the most serious implications.
The goals of Vision Zero are critical, because everyone who heads out in the morning should be able to come home safely at night.
Time to Take a Stand
At Yunex Traffic we’re ready to do our part to support the goals of Vision Zero Network, to build momentum and advance Vision Zero in communities across the U.S.. We believe it’s time for agencies, vendors, non-profits and engineering firms to devote more resources and time to achieving Vision Zero goals. The technology exists today to advance an overwhelming amount of existing roadway safety issues, but the industry must have the will to implement it. It’s an easy choice, because saving lives will help solve other issues like congestion and emissions at the same time. By joining together the industry can work toward the vision of eliminating of traffic fatalities forever, and increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all.