Whenever you are moving around the city on the roads, you will come across traffic lights. They work day and night, during rain and sunshine, regardless of how busy it is. Luke is jogging, teacher Elsie is with her class of toddlers, Ahmed needs to catch his train, Elizabeth is braving the city in her wheelchair, nobody escapes. When you're waiting for a red light, it often feels like time is being wasted. Or it can feel like the other lights have been green for too long, even when nobody is there. Do you recognise this feeling? Do you lose your patience occasionally? Do you sometimes also feel that you could manage to get to the other side safely, even if the light is red?
The “Safe crossing” project charts how often pedestrians ignore the red light. The Antwerp Smart Zone wants to understand why and when it happens. In order to be able to reduce these numbers over time, a study will be carried out at the intersection of the Kronenburgstraat, Nationalestraat, Volksstraat and Geuzestraat. At this point, five streets cross each other, and two trams pass through the middle. The aim of the project is to achieve behavioural change so the number of pedestrians crossing the street on a red light can be reduced.
How does it work technically?
- A camera registers all pedestrians at the Nationalestraat crossover. These images go to servers at Digipolis, the digital servicer of the city, via a secure channel. Computers count how many people cross in which direction.
- The traffic lights send a signal when they are red or green.
- The computer combines this data and calculates how many people respect the red light and whether or not they cross at the right time.
- These counts are shown on two digital screens at the crossing in the Nationalestraat. The screens show how many people have crossed on a red or green during the last seven days.
- To make waiting more pleasant, the digital screens also display quiz questions about Antwerp. The same computers manage these quiz questions.
Privacy within this project
The “Safe crossing” project uses camera images to count pedestrians. A computer program examines how many people the camera notices and in which direction they are moving.
The Antwerp Smart Zone is only interested in numbers, not in the identity of the people on the street. Anybody detected several times in the same frame is counted as a new individual each time. The system does not recognise people. When an employee checks the system, he/she only sees blurred faces.
Would you like to build it with us? Sure!
To build our smart city, the Antwerp Smart Zone prefers to work with entrepreneurs and scientists. Do you recognise these qualities in yourself? Then make sure to get in touch to experiment with us.
Would you like to take part? Gladly!
Nobody knows our city better than those who live or work there. This is why the Antwerp Smart Zone wants to get ideas and insights from as many residents as possible, to work together to help make Antwerp even smarter.