SecurOS Soffit: pedestrian safety at street crossings

Head of the ISS Department of Business Development Sergey Vlasenko in an interview for the Vision online analytical project (by ComNews) shared the features of the hardware and software complex and its practical application.

How severe is the problem of pedestrian safety in Russia?

Pedestrian crossings, especially unregulated crossings, are among the most dangerous sections on the road. Accidents are particularly frequent when the driver, due to poor visibility or tiredness, may miss a pedestrian altogether or notice him too late. Heavy rain and fog make the situation even worse. It should be noted that during the winter period, which is characterized by a short light day, most of the people, on their way to and from school or work, cross the road precisely at dark. Furthermore, pedestrians themselves are often imprudent. Knowing that under driving regulations the driver must give the road to pedestrians, they start crossing the road without making sure the carriageway is safe.

The main issue of highways is that people on “zebra” appear rarely, so drivers get used to the fact that pedestrian crossings are usually free and stop paying attention to them. As a result, rare pedestrians have to look for a “hole” in the traffic, trying to cross the road, so they often become the victims of collisions or unwilling accident perpetrators. The high level of accidents at pedestrian crossings in the city may not always be solved with traffic lights. Automatic adjustment of busy sections of road can lead to a transport collapse and sometimes have to abandon this idea.

How does SecurOS Soffit operate? Based on what principles?

There are different ways to make a pedestrian crossing visible in reduced visibility (at dark or in fog), such as illumination of road signs or the “zebra” itself, installation of all possible light display information “Attention! Pedestrian crossing!”, etc. However, they make drivers pay attention to them, distracting from the main target – pedestrians. Furthermore, passing through urban roads filled with bright signs or highways with unregulated crossings running one after another, the driver became accustomed to such an environment so he ceases to pay attention to them. Therefore, it makes sense to focus the driver’s attention on the pedestrian rather than on the illumination of road infrastructure.

And that is what ISS did by developing a solution to help drivers notice people on the road on time.

SecurOS Soffit consists of an IP-camera, LED white light projector, and an intelligent control unit (controller). The camera oriented to the pedestrian crossing transmits the video stream to the controller, which provides people detection, their movement trajectory tracking along with the pedestrian crossing, and LEDs spotlight management. If the system detects the appearance of a person near a pedestrian crossing, the dynamic illumination mode is activated; it engages eight LED modules. The current human location area is illuminated by the appropriate module, providing a continuous pedestrian following on a “zebra” by a bright stream of light.

LED light sources are often criticized for their eye-discomfort spectrum. Is there a risk of blinding drivers?

The SecurOS Soffit spotlight is oriented to the pedestrian, not the driver. The risk of blinding the driver is eliminated. In the waiting mode, the LED projector provides static illumination of the road markings area with the power corresponding to the street lighting of the pedestrian crossing according to the GOST.

How far SecurOS Soffit is adapted to the specific regional conditions? Can the complex be used in the polar night, fog, blizzards, heavy rain, and other weather conditions?

SecurOS Soffit is designed to operate at a wide range of temperature 24/7. The power supply is from the power line, so a polar night that could last up to several months is not fatal. Of course, the visibility in fog or heavy rain is reduced, but the drivers in such conditions also slow down and are more attentive to traffic, so they may draw up on time. ISS hardware and software complexes operate successfully in the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Region; installation of the complex is also in progress in Arkhangelsk.

Where the hardware and software complex should be installed: at selected passages or where people are used to crossing the road?

SecurOS Soffit should be installed at pedestrian crossings included in the traffic management plan. The driving regulations of the Russian Federation specify the conditions under which a pedestrian has the right to cross a road outside the pedestrian crossing. If a place where people are used to crossing the road falls under these conditions, it makes sense to install SecurOS Soffit there. Otherwise, its installation will be considered as official permission to cross the street in a legally invalid place, and this is unacceptable.

Which provides the best result: using SecurOS Soffit or, for example, applying light-reflecting elements on clothing?

One does not exclude the other. Gleams from the light-reflecting elements on clothing as well as illumination of a person by a searchlight allow the driver to notice the pedestrian in advance. If most of a person’s clothing is covered with light-reflecting elements, additional solutions may not be needed. However, the obligation to wear such clothing (within a built-up area) is not codified by law, SecurOS Soffit will remain the required solution.

How can using SecurOS Soffit improve driver discipline on a pedestrian crossing? Is it possible to integrate SecurOS Soffit with a photo and video capture complex and other elements of the intelligent transport systems?

The co-use of SecurOS Soffit and SecurOS Crossroad, identifying failures to yield a pedestrian, can significantly reduce the number of accidents due to the presence of a photo-recording system that has a positive effect on driver discipline, and eliminate a large number of accident dispositions.

SecurOS Soffit already operates in Tver, Velikiy Novgorod, Khanty-Mansyisk, and Almaty (Kazakhstan). What measurable indicators have been achieved in these cities through the complex installation? Whatisthegeographyoffurtherimplementation?

Within the framework of ITS creation, many regions are now ready to test and implement the most advanced solutions for road traffic safety. SecurOS Soffit has proven its effectiveness in protecting road users in practice. The analysis of the results of the complex operation showed that with SecurOS Soffit, the average speed of a car passing a pedestrian crossing when a pedestrian is on it is reduced by more than 30%. The driver notices the pedestrian in advance and slows down. And the main thing to say is that SecurOS Soffit helps to solve one of the most important challenges facing the implementation of ITS, which is reducing the number of deaths and injuries on Russian roads.

Source: ComNews