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January 20, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Latest project leveraging Chattanooga’s “MLK Smart Corridor” announced

The Center for Urban Informatics and Progress (CUIP) at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Department of Transportation have announced another project to take advantage of the city’s “MLK Smart Corridor.”

Under the new initiative, the two organizations are partnering with Seoul Robotics and Ouster to make Chattanooga safer for pedestrians by utilizing light detection and ranging (lidar) sensors from Ouster in conjunction with SENSR™, Seoul Robotics’ perception software. More specifically, the lidar systems will work in conjunction with the existing MLK Smart Corridor sensors to create a more robust picture of how pedestrians and vehicles interact.

According to anannouncement, lidar sensors and perception software create extremely accurate, 3D representations of the physical environment through the identification and classification of objects, giving researchers the data they need to understand traffic and pedestrian patterns that could be dangerous for citizens.

In 2018, Hamilton County recorded 100 pedestrian injuries and 10 pedestrian fatalities.

“We continue to find ways to work with CUIP and industry partners to further our goal of a safer, smarter Chattanooga,” said Kevin Comstock, Chattanooga Smart Cities Director. “We know that technology, data, and collaboration can help us reduce the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.”

The new lidar sensors will be located in two downtown Chattanooga intersections: Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Market St., and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Georgia Ave. These locations were selected for their close proximity to city parks and event spaces and their subsequent high volume of pedestrian activity.

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