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MIT Algorithm Predicts Red Light Runners

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the jail's-too-good-for-them dept.

Transportation 348

adeelarshad82 writes "Researchers at MIT have developed an algorithm that determines which drivers will run a red light, within one to two seconds before a potential collision. The research, based on 15,000 cars at a busy intersection, monitored various factors to determine which cars were were likely to run a red light. They found that their predictions were correct about 85 percent of the time, which is about 15-20 percent better than existing traffic prediction algorithms."

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So nice to see you (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38227950)

Everyone is eating lunch! First!

Just a matter of time... (1, Insightful)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227968)

With this, its just a matter of time before these "predicted" red light runners are ticketed for their "pre-crime".... We slide further down the slope that Huxley warned us about....

Re:Just a matter of time... (4, Insightful)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228038)

One would think that they simply will wait all of the 2 seconds to check that the driver actually runs the red light.
It's not like you can deploy a SWAT team in front of the driver in time to stop him from running the light and never know if he would actually have done it.

Re:Just a matter of time... (4, Funny)

slazzy (864185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228256)

We can't wait that long, city revenues are down again!

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228678)

How ever will the mayor receive his annual bonus?

Perhaps they can propose MIT volunteers implement their algorithm across every city? Show of hands from MIT students?

Re:Just a matter of time... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38229182)

Shit, if you want to fix this problem it's simple. Stop with the cameras and other bullshit.

Have a mechanism that can quickly raise a physical barrier (nice thick steel plate or something) in front of where you're supposed to stop at the red. The barrier lowers when it's green.

Or have a hole that would stop a car just like a ditch, that gets bridged when the light turns green. Now yellow means "prepare to stop" not "punch the gas and hope you don't hit somebody". Problem solved. With that covered, you can then design the lights and the timings between lights to minimize stopping both for travel efficiency and fuel economy.

I also wish they'd put concrete posts every so often wherever there is a double-yellow line. So you bought an SUV and refuse to learn how to handle a vehicle that size? Okay. You get to pay for repairs when you cross the median and strike the concrete posts. Fucking tired of putting my tires in grass because some idiot who hopped on the "must have an SUV" bandwagon decided that being halfway in my lane on a blind curve was his best move. You want to eliminate this kind of idiocy, make it more painful and make the consequences more confined to the person who is the idiot. You think that's harsh? Ever been hit by one of these morons? Getting hit by an SUV is pretty harsh too. Seems proportional to me.

Oh and if you want to fix tailgating, put a spike or a spear on the back of each vehicle pointed downwards from the roof towards the driver's side, right at the height where the windshield of the vehicle behind would be. Suddenly everyone will be more courteous and use a good following distance. Not because they really have any respect for the law or the safety of other drivers, but because being impaled is likely to be a slow lingering death and they will fear it.

If there are going to be so many childish, impatient, stupid people and for some reason we're giving them licenses, might as well recognize what you're dealing with. They don't care that their stupidity might kill someone. They don't care about the measly little fine they might get since for some reason failure to yield (you know that thing that actually causes accidents) is a minor violation like speeding (which doesn't). They don't care that having a cellphone in one hand and a cheeseburger in the other to satiate their fatass appetite is dangerous. So let's quit coddling them since it doesn't work and move on to something they do care about. They do care when there is a certain, immediate, severe consequence. That gets the attention of even the most selfish bastards.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228286)

Well, presumably you'd just wait a little longer until turning the cross traffic light green. Maybe it'll help get a clearer shot of the red-light runner, you know, for insurance purposes.

Re:Just a matter of time... (5, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228804)

Congradulations, you just invented the "delayed green". You should patent it, before the guy who has been setting intersections around here up like that for years does. We have them all over the place. Also.... I really wish that articles like this would get beyond things like "see we can do it". I would love to see what it is that predicts these actions, and see if it says anything about whats going on.

Cuz in the end, its not about catching people who run lights. Enforcing the law is not an end in and of itself, its supposed to be a means to an end. Who cares if we can "catch" more people? It may feel good and let someone justify their job with some metrics but, it doesn't solve the original problem of risks and dangers....not in anything even approaching a realistic way.

Like the delayed green... I would think that a very slight delay would cause any such accidents to drop off. In fact, as I said, we have lights timed like this all over the place, and while I have seen a few accidents, the only "red light running" one I know of involved a drunk guy blowing through a light that was just plain red, not even green and turning.... I don't think anything is going to solve that one, there will always be a few true idiots.

Re:Just a matter of time... (3, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228882)

Who cares if we can "catch" more people?

The people who add the fines to their revenue.

As far as I'm aware, the only thing that's been proven to reduce the number of accidents at stop lights is to make the orange phase longer. This is why cities that want to increase revenue have often been found to have made the orange phase shorter.

Re:Just a matter of time... (2)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228306)

It's not like you can deploy a SWAT team in front of the driver in time to stop him from running the light and never know if he would actually have done it.

Can delay the green on the crossing street, or even put up an alarm with flashing blinkers so no one enters the intersection. The flashers can be implemented with the existing traffic lights, so not that expensive. What is expensive is setting up the cameras linked to a central computer on every intersection. They kind of doing it already with the red light cameras though.

Re:Just a matter of time... (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228388)

I think deploying a bollard in the path of the potential light runner will get the message across.... CRUNCH!

Re:Just a matter of time... (3, Informative)

Nexzus (673421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228756)

For anyone confused; a bollard is a retractable concrete or metal post that comes out the ground to block traffic. They seem to be popular in Europe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIqlkPhDfwM [youtube.com]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZdLjKl0lHc [youtube.com]

Re:Just a matter of time... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228966)

I am sure that anyone as confused as you were would have googled the term, just as you did. Idiot!

Re:Just a matter of time... (3, Interesting)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 2 years ago | (#38229110)

Nah. That'd cause a car to stop dead in the middle of the intersection and make a bloody mess of traffic.

Instead, you want a smart deployment of spikes which puncture only a single tire. More than enough to seriously piss off a guy running the light, while still letting him limp out of the way to the shoulder.

Re:Just a matter of time... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228462)

Delaying the light because somebody's likely to run it has it's own problems. Every day around here I'd be surprised if there weren't hundreds or even thousands of cases where people ran red lights and nobody was hurt or killed.

I do personally support efforts to keep people from running red lights, it is important to keep things in perspective. Is further gridlock across the city and an incentive to run red lights more or less harmful than the status quo? Personally, I suspect that it isn't, at least around here.

But, if they use the information to more accurately crack down on people that are running red lights and stick them with a penalty that's painful enough to act as a deterrent, that might be worthwhile.

Re:Just a matter of time... (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228864)

The easiest way to reduce red light running is to make yellows longer.
It's more effective than a red light camera, but not nearly as profitable.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228584)

It's not like you can deploy a SWAT team in front of the driver in time to stop him from running the light and never know if he would actually have done it.

Can delay the green on the crossing street, or even put up an alarm with flashing blinkers so no one enters the intersection. The flashers can be implemented with the existing traffic lights, so not that expensive. What is expensive is setting up the cameras linked to a central computer on every intersection. They kind of doing it already with the red light cameras though.

I propose we have walls, big thick concrete suckers, which pop-up when lights change. That'll sort it.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228374)

My favourite part was that they envision this being used in a Vehicle to Vehicle network so your car can warn other cars around you when you are driving like an idiot. "Warning fellow cars! My driver is behaving stupidly and I want to survive this trip. Please, just let him pass and we can all go home rather than to the body shop!"

Re:Just a matter of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228522)

I'm really wondering why the problem isn't the other way around. Make the new Itech car made to not cross over red light. It seems like an easier solution.

IMO..

Patte De Lapin

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228848)

But they could slow down the transition to green for the other side to prevent collisions.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228992)

If you do this you better make sure you catch enough of the red light runners.

Otherwise more people might start running the red light because they know the green would be delayed...

Re:Just a matter of time... (2)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228916)

This is actually an interesting question.

In some ideal fantasy world focused purely on safety and low of traffic, the ideal action would be that when the system detects detects someone is about to run a light, it keeps the light yellow for longer and/or delays turning the cross traffic light from red to green.. Allowing the driver to pass safely and keeping cross traffic stopped.

Of course it could just be used punitively to gain more money :P

And of course if people ever got wind that this was implemented, they might casually run more red lights.

But I especially like the idea of delaying the cross traffic light turning green to prevent collision... regardless of wheather you ticking the red light runner.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228994)

how about an additional 2sec pause where all lights are red...

I'd rather they get the flow of traffic synchronised better

Re:Just a matter of time... (4, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228224)

We slide further down the slope that Huxley warned us about....

Sure, let's stop any applied sociological and psychological research whatsoever because OMG 1984 STALIN HITLER!!!

Not all slopes are slippery.

Re:Just a matter of time... (4, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228384)

Ah, so that's why my June ski trip to Whistler ended badly.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228454)

No, but if you can apply lubricant to the slope and it results in positive cash flow for cash-strapped local governments, my bet is that the slope will be slippery very soon.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228644)

You should know by now that the only field that Slashdotters consider to truly be a science is physics.

Re:Just a matter of time... (4, Funny)

MacTO (1161105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228764)

Haven't you ever heard of the Slippery Slope Conspiracy? It involves a bunch of government agents who scream "Slippery Slope" at the most absurd things so that people will be desensitized to Slippery Slope claims because they will think that the people who make those claims are a bunch of nut-bars! And in another month's time the Slippery Slope Conspirators will have achieved a perfectly zero coefficient of social friction and make the rest of us their true slaves! Not only will we be digging canals with spoons and carrying spoons full of dirt 20 miles up hill both ways and with a 50 lb. steel ball tied to our ankle, but we will be happy for it!

Note to conspiracy-conspiracy theorists: I'm not being serious. Just to be clear, this conspiracy is a figment of my sarcastic imagination and not real.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228956)

Note to conspiracy-conspiracy theorists: I'm not being serious. Just to be clear, this conspiracy is a figment of my sarcastic imagination and not real.

Yeah, that's what they always say. Bet you're laughing your ass off about all the gullible sheeple who believe you, while you proceed to execute your plan for world domination.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228302)

My question is, "was the prediction oriented around the Intersection, or from the Vehicle?" If it was the Vehicle, that's useful.

Also, I believe that "pre-crime" was the creation of Philip K. Dick. [philipkdick.com]

As for the essence of human predation, who is more dangerous? The one that pillages, or the one that allows toxic waste to enter the community food chain, or the one that does not return the favor of helping the community when the community helped that person, or the one that would create laws that prevent others from being as successful?

Re:Just a matter of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228338)

Luddite gets modded up. Slashdot going to hell. News at 11.

Re:Just a matter of time... (2)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228342)

Hey, that's stupid. It's literally seconds before the crime is committed. Wait 6 seconds and you can ticket them for actually breaking the law. The applicable field for this information is self driving cars. If a car can know when a red light running is going to occur, it can not drive out in front of it.

It's amazing how paranoid you can be.

Re:Just a matter of time... (-1, Flamebait)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228482)

SLIPPERY SLOPE FALLACY DETECTED.

What is it with libertarians and their need to be drama queens?

Re:Just a matter of time... (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228950)

SLIPPERY SLOPE FALLACY DETECTED.

The only slippery slope fallacy is the claim that when you give government new powers they won't abuse them and extend them to the ultimate limit. Occasionally that's true, but usually only because the powers become obsolete due to technological change, or because voters prevent them from doing so.

And I'm rather amused to see someone with 'Hail Eris' in their sig ranting about EVIL LIBERTARIANS.

Re:Just a matter of time... (1)

hercubus (755805) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228722)

With this, its just a matter of time before these "predicted" red light runners are ticketed for their "pre-crime".... We slide further down the slope that Huxley warned us about....

Pre-crime is Philip K Dick as interpreted by Steven Spielberg

Orwell warned about a totalitarian state directing every action and every thought

We are already living in the brave new world Huxley predicted. I'd say we rocketed past Huxley twenty years ago, we are currently Orwellian, and we're one lab-experiment-gone-wrong away from "I Am Legend" (Richard Matheson)

Welcome to the Future Crime unit (4, Funny)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227972)

Traffic court division!

Re:Welcome to the Future Crime unit (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228418)

Hell of a turnaround. Detection to verdict in 1.5 seconds!

Article summary (5, Funny)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227974)

If the car isn't slowing down, it's more likely to run the light.
Deep.

Re:Article summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228278)

Just think of it as an extension of the collision warning system. Some cars already warn you if you're going to hit something. This warns you if someone might be about to hit you.

Unfortunately the sensationalist headline makes it sound like they're going to predict if someone's going to choose to run an "orange" or "pink" light (i.e. it turned red while the driver was in the intersection).

tl;dr: This system cannot actually predict driver behavior; it just tracks velocity and acceleration. Yawn.

Re:Article summary (5, Funny)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228702)

I notice that, despite being an MIT team, they analyzed data from an intersection somewhere in Virginia. Probably because their model from a Boston intersection was even simpler:

boolean will_driver_run_red_light(Driver driver) { return true; }

Um..., the ones not slowing down? (1)

kencurry (471519) | more than 2 years ago | (#38227996)

DUH!

Wirelessly (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228026)

"For the technology to work, How said vehicles would need to be able to communicate with one another, wirelessly sending and receiving data like the car's speed and position."

This would require the red light runner to also be transmitting their speed and position.

Re:Wirelessly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228142)

There's no way they could know both!

Re:Wirelessly (5, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228188)

On the other hand, if everyone is being told to not enter the intersection because someone might run the red light, then you can more safely run red lights.

That's got to count for something....

I assume it merely selects... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228060)

I assume it simply selects BMWs?

Re:I assume it merely selects... (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228246)

LOL mod parent up! XD

Re:I assume it merely selects... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228670)

No, just vehicles with Pennsylvania plates ;)

Especially in China! (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228698)

Great comment, did you read the NYTimes article about stereotypes of various car drivers? I think it went something like this:

BMW - Arrogant, spoiled (this perception went way up after the official's son who killed someone while driving a BMW)
Mercedes - for older people
Audi - powerful (don't mess with the driver. This is because many officials drive this)

American cars I seem to remember have a pretty good reputation. Who knew? ;). But I guess they've been getting better.

Easier solution, IF (Car.liscense.plate="MA") Then (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228088)

Cars in MA routinely run a red lights because they are afraid of being tailended it they stop. Seriously.

Re:Easier solution, IF (Car.liscense.plate="MA") T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228132)

Cars in MA routinely run a red lights because they are afraid of being tailended it they stop. Seriously.

Pretty amazing self-driving cars you've got there in MA.

Re:Easier solution, IF (Car.liscense.plate="MA") T (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228268)

It's good that they know fear. Not many inanimate objects are capable of that emotion. Although many can smell it.

Re:Easier solution, IF (Car.liscense.plate="MA") T (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228494)

We largely solved that by implementing a tailgating law. Basically if you run into somebody's tailgate you're responsible unless you can prove that it's their fault. It does have issues from time to time like when somebody swerves in front of you and slams on the brakes, but ultimately most of those problems aren't there if you keep adequate space ahead of you.

Re:Easier solution, IF (Car.liscense.plate="MA") T (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228770)

Cars in MA routinely run a red lights because they are afraid of being tailended it they stop. Seriously.

This is why MIT did the study in Virginia.

Red Light Runner Prediction (2)

Renraku (518261) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228098)

I usually look when the light turns green to make sure no one is about to run it. I have a similar accuracy in determining when I shouldn't cross because someone is going a little too fast. I don't think it's the speed, because some people like locking up their brakes at the last second. I think even those people have their foot on the break and are ready to stop. Whereas runners won't be decelerating much or if at all, and may not even be looking at the red light. Just imagine you're driving on a straight flat piece of land through a green light. That's what those drivers will do. That kind of behavior. Only the light is red. If you watch for it, you'll see it every time.

My issue with this technology is that the dumber types will pick it up and think that the same idea can also be used to catch speeders, drunk drivers, etc, etc. So they'll demand those systems be built and offer stupid amounts of money for it to happen. When it does happen, and it just might, the accuracy will be low, but you'll still have to go to court to fight your way out of a DUI because the computer said you swerved more than a few inches once. They already managed to get the field sobriety test approved, which most people fail SOBER, especially beside a busy interstate in the cold at night with all those bright lights buzzing past at 70mph. You fail a field sobriety test, you're drunk. Period.

Re:Red Light Runner Prediction (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228322)

Only a true slashfag would write 260 words about how they can predict someone is going to run a light by observing that they don't decelerate while the other cars do.

Also, fag, failing a field sobriety test isn't enough to get you charged with DUI. It is enough for them to breathalyze you or take a blood sample if you refuse that. If you refuse the blood sample, they can hold you in custody. You agreed to this when you got your license.

This is a pathetic attempt at karma whoring. Your posting history exhibits the same.

Bet you can't go without responding to this, Renraku. Based off the name, you must be an anime lover.

you need a blood test or the desktop sized (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228458)

you need a blood test or the desktop sized tester.

Re:Red Light Runner Prediction (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228516)

Most, if not all, places give you the right to refuse the field test in favor of a blood test.

More inconvenient, yes... but I think I like the accuracy of the blood test far more than that of the aforementioned "sobriety" test.

Far too optimistic, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228130)

If this is just used to add an additional delay to the cross traffic getting a green light, this could save a lot of lives.

Re:Far too optimistic, but... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228290)

From what I've seen, the worst red light runners go through after it's already turned green for the other direction

Re:Far too optimistic, but... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228404)

I'm sure governments everywhere will scramble to implement this revenue-reducing technology.

What's the point? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228166)

I bet a human has even better accuracy at forecasting this. I don't think anyone needs an assistance from a computer to tell them what they are already seeing.

Re:What's the point? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228414)

Well if a computer can predict this it could I don't know hold the yellow longer so they do not run a red light and potentially cause an accident. Fining people has little to no value it's using a stick to try and illicit better behavior. The point is to reduce accidents not make money for the government.

Re:What's the point? (1)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228478)

I say take that a step further. If the light communicates with a vehicle that it thinks is going to run the light, don't increase the yellow time since that could encourage additional cars to enter the intersection; instead increase the pause between the light turning red in the current direction and the light turning green on the opposite approach.

Re:What's the point? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228718)

While it's impossible to run a red light when both lights are green/yellow, it won't reduce the number of accidents.

Tuppence Predictor (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228172)

Is driver on mobile phone? Add 1

Is driver drinking coffee? Add 1

Is driver putting on makeup/shaving/combing hair? Add 1

Is driver having animated (you can see heads turning and arms waving about) discussion with passenger/children? Add 1

Is driver speeding? Add 1
 

If your score is 3 or higher then expect them to run the light, hope you are not in a crossing lane.

Re:Tuppence Predictor (3, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228330)

Is driver is engaging in intercourse? Add 2

Is driver playing Angry Birds? Add 2

Does driver own any Apple products? Revoke license

Re:Tuppence Predictor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228460)

Is driver eating? Add 1

Does the meal include a plate and fork? Add another 2.

Yes, I've seen this. All I could think of was, if the guy is that suicidal, he should just shoot himself in the head instead of taking another car full of people with him.

Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228178)

Predict that every car will not run the light. My prediction is correct much more than 85% of the time. Why aren't I in the news?

Re:Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (0)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228410)

1. Anonymous cowards are in the news all the time.

2. Predicting an anomaly is a feat, predicting normality isn't.

Re:Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228616)

1. Touché.

2. Which is why I said it's a bad metric.

Re:Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38229064)

The problem is that accuracy is against number of people who ran the lights, rather then total drivers. Basically, while it may be fairly accurate, there is NO information on false positives or the actual accuracy ratio for the total prediction (which would be is probably much much smaller then the number they are claiming).

For example:
1000 cars through the light
of the 1000, say 100 speed through it
the sofware guess 85 of them correctly giving you "85%" accuracy

BUT in the real world, you want true accuracy against everyone. The above statement would mean it has a high accuracy level compared to the rest but that's only if you don't include false positives which could easily destroy the results. False positive would also make a much bigger difference when dealing with such small numbers out of a large pool. Of the 900, how much did they guess wrong? 15% of that as an example would be 135 cars it falsely guessed over the 85 it guessed correctly.

You can also measure accuracy in terms of correct / incorrect guesses. Really, accuracy is dependent on what it's compared to. Accuracy of predicting normality can be just as effective as predicting the unique, as if you can guess all the normal ones correctly, you got the unique ones left out of the entire set.

Re:Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228576)

They wanted to put you on, but they didn't have any way to contact you.

Re:Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228800)

Because your statistical sample is over-broad.

Re:Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38229076)

Because your statistical sample is over-broad.

That doesn't even make sense. And I say that as a statistician.

Re:Bad metric (Or, I have a better solution) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38229188)

Predict that every car will not run the light. My prediction is correct much more than 85% of the time. Why aren't I in the news?

Because you don't know the difference between false positives & false negatives, along with the power of a test: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_I_and_type_II_errors [wikipedia.org]

Your prediction is useless as a result. Go take a statistics 101 class.

Perfect fit for a Self-Driving Car (2)

Guidii (686867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228190)

Hope the folks at Google adapt this to their self-driving car. Seems like a no-brainer.
Come to think of it, the whole interaction would be a no-brainer. Car detects red-light runner, car avoids red-light runner.

Re:Perfect fit for a Self-Driving Car (-1, Flamebait)

MagicM (85041) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228570)

Hope the folks at Google adapt this to their self-driving car. Seems like a no-brainer.

Ha! I get it! Because the car is self-driving! No human, no brain! Get it? There's no driver there to use their brain! No-brainer! Ha!

Awesome.

Now what ? (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228240)

Does the red get held on the cross street longer ?

That just makes the red-runners life a lot more safer and encourages the behavior.

Does it trigger the 5ton metal barrier at the stop line ?

That make sit safer for the cross street and discourages the behavior. But we don't have the 5ton barriers.

Re:Now what ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228474)

The red gets held on the cross street longer, and then the driver gets fined heavily.

Re:Now what ? (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228652)

Hehe, oh [youtube.com] yes [youtube.com] we [youtube.com] do [youtube.com] ...

Though, they do take too long to actually deploy. Work on that... and I think we have an answer...

Re:Now what ? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228658)

Off the top of my head, assuming the junction is being monitored then the person running the light is going to get a ticket anyway (if they run the light after the computer has predicted so).

The side benefit of the prediction is that the system might hold the other light longer to prevent injuries to those people actually following the law. That the lawbreaker is also safer is just a side effect - they still get a ticket, but maybe they don't take out a minivan full of old people while doing it.

Re:Now what ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228852)

Does it trigger the 5ton metal barrier at the stop line ?

That make sit safer for the cross street and discourages the behavior. But we don't have the 5ton barriers.

Not yet. That will be the next big invention.

Re:Now what ? (1)

mx+b (2078162) | more than 2 years ago | (#38229002)

TFA seems to suggest some sort of heads-up display or control panel in a car that gives you a warning "hey, watch the cross street before going after the light turns green, we detect someone very likely to be a jackass approaching". Doesn't exactly penalize the other driver (although getting a violation/ticket due to a camera light or whatever would help a bit), but it keeps *you* personally more safe. I appreciate that.

MIT? (2)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228308)

MIT? The M in that TLA stands for Massachusetts. I've visited the state and seen the drivers, and I'm pretty sure that red light running there is mandatory. As near as I could figure, the law there is if you ever see the green or yellow as you approach the intersection, then the light is still considered green for you. I'll wait for research from somewhere else.

Re:MIT? (2)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38229006)

Actually.... a FOAF got a job as a cop here (yes Boston area). On her first day out driving she was approaching a light behind another car. It turned yellow and she stepped on the gas... completely forgetting that she was in a police cruiser, a fact which was apparently not missed by the person in front of her who dutifully stepped on his breaks and came to a stop at the light..... whoops.

*Always* be aware of your surroundings (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228314)

From the article:

"Even though your light might be green, it may recommend you not to go, because there are people behaving badly that you may not be aware of."

Even with a green light I may not go because there are people behaving badly that I am aware of. Don't need a traffic light for that - when in traffic, always keep your eyes open (and traffic lights aren't fail-proof either). For those dumb-asses that rely solely on what a traffic light tells them, let Darwin do the work.

Some driver assistance here might not be bad, but I'd hope it would be based on something more generic than "detected a driver that's going to run a red light".

Re:*Always* be aware of your surroundings (1)

inglorion_on_the_net (1965514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228748)

I, for one, welcome our 360-degrees-at-once-seeing overlords.

I mean, yes, I keep my eyes open and pay attention to what's happening, too. I very rarely get surprised in traffic. But it does happen. I just can't look ahead of me and to both sides, at cars in multiple lanes, bicycles, and pedestrians, in the presence of obstacles on the corners, figure out there is a threat, and at the same time check my mirrors to know if I can step on the brakes or should get out of my lane to avoid being rear-ended.

Yes, that's probably a worst case - but technology may be able to help here, because it _can_ look all directions at once. It's sort of like in aviation, where we have pilots watching for traffic, _and_ air traffic controllers to keep planes separated, _and_ TCAS. And yes, TCAS has saved lives, and would have saved more lives had it been installed more widely and always obeyed.

How soon before cops start using this? (2)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228376)

Using this technique plus normal(?) traffic cameras, police could pretty quickly build up a list of habitual red light runners. (Even if they didnt actually "run" the light, they would be put under suspicion). They could be put on a list for "random" pull overs. (This presumes that video cameras with auto license plate reading are present and functioning on police car dashboards. I'm not sure this is the case nationally, but when I was in Denver recently a police car pulled over my friend because the computer had her license plate on a list. Call it the "Do Not Drive List").

This is nothing compared to when face recognition systems become widely prevalent. That'll blow away the "big-brother" predictions made by science fiction films like minority report (which used retina scans). Of course, WE'VE been supplying the government with tons and tons of this pre-edited, organized data tagged data. Thanks Facebook! (which is another reason why I don't use it). Call it the "Do Not Walk List".

That coupled with national biometrics programs (India, Afghanistan) and GPS tracking in every smartphone (Carrier IQ) and warrantless tapping/tracking of American citizens (war on terror) means we are rapidly heading towards a world where your government CAN know where you are at every moment. Whether or not they WILL know where you are is up to the battles over privacy information.

Where's the Work? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228592)

I RTFA, and no algorithm was shown. As for the 15% error, did anyone consider cargo? Without seeing the math, how are we compelled to even consider that this was nothing more than a SWAG(scientific wild @$$ guess). Me thinks this is nothing more than a variation of a Markov Chain. [wikipedia.org] This would make a good lab project for a second year student on the west coast.

(snap m.i.t.)

Re:Where's the Work? (1)

Entrope (68843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228730)

Even more than that, what the heck does the "85 percent" rate mean? I would think that MIT's press release could at least bother to indicate sensitivity and specificity as separate numbers. If they falsely predict that 15% of people (one out of roughly six) who stop are about to run the light, that poses major problems for any field use of the system.

Re:Where's the Work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38229156)

Also, I have a nagging suspicion that "85 percent of the time, which is about 15-20 percent better" confuses percents and percentage points.

Re:Where's the Work? (5, Interesting)

tech10171968 (955149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38229158)

...As for the 15% error, did anyone consider cargo?...

THANK YOU!!! As an economic refugee of the "Great Recession", I ended up driving a tractor-trailer for a living - and wound up learning a few things along the way. One interesting fact I've learned is that a fully loaded (80,000 lbs) semi moving at 55 mph can take up to 300 ft to come to a complete stop (think about that next time you want to "brake-check" a truck...). I have, unfortunately, run across traffic lights in which the yellow phase was, for some strange reason, really short- even if the the semi is traveling the legal speed limit. This is not a situation you want to be in: your choices often boil down to:


(1) Stand on the brake in order to not run the impending red light (remember that 300-foot stopping distance? By the time you get stopped, your trailer in squarely in the middle of the intersection. And that's if you don't jackknife and end up wiping out 5 or 6 cars along the way).

(2) Run the light (Yes, it's going to be red by the time you hit it, meaning you will almost certainly incur the wrath of any red-light camera or nearby cop - but see option 1 for the alternative scenario)


This is probably the number two reason I try to avoid surface streets when possible (reason number one being the preponderance of infrastructure not exactly designed with a 75-ft long, nearly 14-ft high vehicle in mind). I figure any traffic engineer worth his salt is going to take these factors into consideration; a failure to do so is going to inevitably invite the occurance of an 18-wheeled clusterfuck and all that comes with it (major property damage, potential loss of life, etc).

Why just predict, when you can prevent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38228612)

Why don't they just override the red light's runners controls so that the car is stopped automagically for the red light?

That would prevent 100% of red light running, negating the need for the cross traffic's warning system. Not to mention it would eliminate the associated costs of red light running (assuming all cars have the required wifi control system that is required for the detection to work.)

Red light delay. (5, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228884)

Years ago I was sitting at light. The light turns green and the driver in front of me starts going oblivious to the car that's sailing down the road and clearly not intending on stopping for the red. So this guy slams right into the guy in front of me.

This was back when a light would turn green almost immediately after the intersecting street's light would go red. Drivers in my city are notorious for flaunting the rules and generally driving like jerks, but it was rare to have someone go through a red because people were aware of the risk involved.

Then at some point in the past 10-15 years traffic engineers got the idea to delay the interval between one light turning red and the next going green. So now there's a good 2+ second delay where all lights are red.

What has been the side-effect of this change? Now people brazenly blow through red lights. And the thing is that I've seen it happen everywhere, upscale and low-income areas alike. I've seen lines of 3-5 cars keep on going through when the light had clearly gone red. It's so bad sometimes that there are still cars in the intersection after the other light has already turned green, and this is with the aforementioned delay.

But yeah, it's pretty easy to spot the ones who aren't going to stop. They're the ones still moving at a good clip and making no attempt to slow down and stop.

This is why I'm somewhat supportive of stop light cameras. It's not like speed cameras which don't really target the real problem, aggressive or careless driving. Going through a red light poses real danger and is a clear example of reckless driving. Of course, I realize that stop light cameras are abused as well; one popular tactic being to shorten the yellow in order to boost the number of offenders. Otherwise running red lights is a persistent problem I don't really see anyone addressing. Probably because it involves more effort and brings in less revenue than going after speeders.

not impressed (0)

Pierre Bezukhov (1866830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38228970)

not impressed. it's just a simple calculation of distance and speed. show me something more difficult

solving the wrong problem (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | more than 2 years ago | (#38229018)

This seems like a half baked solution to one aspect of a bad idea. At least it's not as bad a "solution" as installing red light enforcement cameras everywhere. Intersections are just plain bad. Yellows are often too short for a variety of reasons, and that is the number one cause of red light running. After improving the signal timing, which shouldn't be hard, roundabouts may be the most practical alternative.

Then there's the interchange, which is unfortunately very expensive. Yet it's crazy the way we spend millions on a limited access highway, and then go only halfway, and make the crossroads stop for the exits. For a more exotic idea, what if the vehicles did the bridging, instead of the road? Have vehicles be long enough to span at least 2 columns at all times, then make an overpass with just columns, no bridge deck. Could make interchanges cheap enough that we would never use intersections, and never need traffic lights.

Just add a ramp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38229088)

and red-light runners can go off some sweet jumps.

Reminds me of a toy car kit I had as a kid.

Can they install this at the DMV (1)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#38229120)

to filter out the bad drivers before they go for their test. Have a stop light before the door and see who runs the yellow light.

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