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January 19, 2023 | Tom Ballard

Chattanooga planning for 86 new smart intersections

Popular Science magazine spotlights the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga's efforts.

Popular Science spotlights Chattanooga and its initiative to create 86 new so-called smart intersections that are monitored by sensors such as lidar and cameras.

Funded by a $4.57 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the article says that the goal of making an intersection smart is “to be able to make sense of that intersection” based on the information provided by the sensors.” That’s according to Mina Sartipi, Director of the Center for Urban Informatics and Progress at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

It will help them answer questions like: “Where are the cars? Where are the people? How close do they get to each other? How safe is it for a wheelchair (user)? Do we allow a disabled person, or an elderly [person], or a mom or a dad pushing a stroller, enough time to cross the street or not?”

Rob Verger, Technology Editor at Popular Science, writes that the project in Chattanooga starts later this year and is expected to last for three years. While connecting electric vehicle drivers with charging stations is the main focus, having nearly 100 intersections with rich sensor data flowing from them should allow researchers to study various aspects of them and ideally optimize the streetscape.