Pedestrian Safety Technologies
Pedestrian safety has long been an area of focus for public agencies, policymakers, and researchers. Despite previous efforts in this area, over the last decade the number of crashes involving pedestrians, and subsequently the number of pedestrian deaths, has been on the rise. This trend has been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic as more people are outside seeking recreation and the number of vehicles has dropped, causing average speeds to increase. During this last decade, technology has also continued to develop. With these newer technologies, pedestrians can not only be detected better, but now have the ability to communicate with infrastructure to get real-time information on work zone conditions and intersection operations. However, along with new detection and smart infrastructure technologies that benefit pedestrians, the rise of new vehicle technologies, such as autonomous vehicles (AVs), has created uncertainty for pedestrians, who for the most part lack trust in and knowledge of AV operations. This paper explores key strategies that public agencies, policymakers, and private companies can use to ensure the safety of pedestrians, with the goal of moving Texas out of its ranking as one of the ten most dangerous states for pedestrians.