Prototype pedestrian warning system has potential to minimize noise pollution.

2014 paper out of the University of Pennsylvania describes plans for innovative pedestrian warning system .

Philadelphia; Virginia; United States

Summary Information

A research team out of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia prototyped a pedestrian warning system intent on reducing the rising number of pedestrian-bus collisions. The system is novel in that it achieves a high directivity of sound by emitting a targeted audio warning toward pedestrians and does not noisily disrupt the surrounding environment.

The location detection system determines when a turn will be made by identifying the bus’ position and comparing the position with a saved route. If a turn is predicted, the warning system is activated. A laserfinder sensor then detects the pedestrian’s position, and a motor swivels an ultrasonic speaker to face the target and emit a directed audio warning.

Through collaboration with Protran Technology, a transit safety company that specializes in pedestrian bus warning systems, the university plans to produce a hybrid product that incorporates the directed audio beam technology with Protran’s existing turn-activated warning system. The new integrated system is expected to be piloted with buses from Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

Advantages of this type of system:
  • Uses standard, off-the-shelf components with a target cost of $500 or less, which is less expensive than similar pedestrian detection systems utilized by transit agencies.
  • Can easily be retrofitted onto existing buses, without the need for complex disassembly of portions of the bus.
  • Minimizes noise pollution in the urban environment by targeting and delivering audible noise only to targeted locations while minimizing noise output elsewhere.

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Directed Audio Warning System for Reduction of Bus-Pedestrian Collisions

Author: Marcus Pan, Alaric Qin, Danial D. Lee, Peter Bartek

Published By: 2015 ITS America Annual Meeting and Expo

Source Date: 06/02/2015



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Benefit ID: 2016-01088