New AI traffic cameras are being used in Prince George’s County

New AI traffic cameras are being used in Prince George’s County

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Police agencies in Prince George’s County are using artificial intelligence to make roads safer, and new traffic cameras in some cities are fully equipped with the technology.

AI-powered traffic cameras are popping up in several cities including Forest Heights, Cottage City, and others. It is designed to pick up whether a driver is stopping, accelerating, or making a U-turn at a stop sign. All this is done while using artificial intelligence and telling drivers what they are doing wrong.

“We have received a lot of complaints from our authority,” Forest Heights Police Chief Anthony Reese said. “Individuals are running stop signs, especially in our school bus stop area.”

“At 7 a.m., it’s not very well lit in that area, so we want to make sure our students are safe as they pass through the school,” he added.

Drivers running stop signs is a common problem throughout the county especially within Cottage City, which is located right near the district border. Cottage City Police Chief Anthony Ayers said many drivers cut through their small town to enter Maryland but are not following traffic rules.

“When they cross town, they go right through stop signs (which) pose a hazard. There have been several accidents before there is property damage,” Ayers said.

They now hope the new tool will help address these issues through a pilot program with Obvio using AI traffic cameras.

“The AI ​​models automatically read the camera footage and determine, ‘Hey, did this car run a stop sign or did this car not accelerate?’” said Dhruv Maheshwari, CEO and co-founder of Obvio.

“We are trying to put artificial intelligence in the hands of police officers and local communities,” he added.

The camera not only records the violation, but also displays a screen that says “Unsafe Stop” to warn drivers of the mistakes they have made.

Ayers said this method of informing drivers is more effective rather than a person realizing the consequences when they get a ticket.

“You want someone to correct it right away, and that’s how you change people’s behavior,” Ayers said.

Each police department has the option of deciding how to handle a violation, where they will make a traffic stop or use video to send a warning or citation to the driver.

At a time when many departments are feeling the pressure of staffing shortages, Reese said they are needed now more than ever.

“Since we don’t have the number of officers we need, we’re using technology to fill that void and say, ‘Hey, listen, we need more enforcement in this area,'” he said. .

Cottage City implemented the pilot program for about a month and saw a 76% reduction in reduced driving. Forest Heights just started its pilot program on Friday and is already seeing a difference.

“We see it starting to change people’s behavior,” he said.

The ultimate goal of the new tool’s creators is to make neighborhoods safe again.

“It is life changing in that it all gives us a sigh of relief. We can have a good time in our communities again,” Maheshwari said.

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