Exploring Mobile Technologies for Pedestrian Saftey

AT&T worked with a team of students and faculty from the NYU Tandon's Integrated Digital Media Program to seed a public challenge.

Consumer adoption of mobile devices has skyrocketed, changing the way people behave in many environments, including on city streets. There is also a growing body of research and evidence that supports the claim that pedestrians may be increasing traffic safety risks by walking in traffic while focused on their smart phone.

It’s always exciting to develop a project that will likely continue on in the real world.

As part of AT&T’s open seed project with NYC Media Lab, AT&T worked with a research team from NYU Tandon to examine smart phone use and traffic safety from a technological perspective: how might mobile technologies make pedestrians in urban areas safer, especially to mitigate smart phone distraction and to increase pedestrians’ environmental connectedness and what opportunities exist for technological solutions to complement the efforts of governments, advocacy organizations and businesses to reduce injuries and deaths.

The resulting paper, titled “Exploring How Mobile Technologies Impact Pedestrian Safety,” provided a springboard for a three-month tech challenge, Connected Intersections, where developers competed to create smart phone apps and wearable solutions that aim to augment the public’s connectedness to their immediate surroundings while reducing distraction. Developers submitted more than 40 projects that took advantage of smart phone sensors, phone-to-phone communications and natural user interfaces, among other technologies.


For more information about the challenge, visit intersections.challengepost.com.