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AI technology helping transform how traffic patterns and data is studied on Florida roadways

Florida has second highest amount of worker deaths at road constructions sites, according to data
Posted at 5:19 PM, Nov 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-02 20:13:25-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Maryland-based company created and designed new artificial intelligence technology that is helping cities and agencies all over the country study traffic patterns and make our roadways safer, including here in Florida.

It's no secret traffic can get congested on many Florida roadways.

"It's pretty hard, traffic jams, a lot of people don't let you in," Sophia Giangualano, who lives in West Palm Beach, said. "I would say around 4 o'clock when the work day is over, it's kind of hard to get through streets."

Jessica Barrero, who also lives in West Palm Beach, agrees.

"The population is growing and the roads can't handle it," she said.

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West Palm Beach resident Sophia Giangualano talks about the traffic jams in the area.

Barrero told WPTV she's lived in South Florida her whole life, so she's seen the traffic patterns change over the years.

"There's certain areas, especially down in Boca (Raton), it's way worse in the construction zones," Barrero said.

Thanks to the Federal Infrastructure Jobs Act, there is a great deal of roadwork, nationwide, planned in the next decade to keep up with the increasing number of people using U.S. roadways. That is why a company based in Maryland is now using cutting-edge AI technology to transform how this data is analyzed.

"If you think about what is artificial intelligence transportation, it's really like plugging a very powerful computer into the roadway," Mike Dunbar, executive vice president for Rekor Systems, said. "Everything can be analyzed and optimized."

Mike Dunbar executive vice president for Rekor Systems November 2023
Mike Dunbar, executive vice president for Rekor Systems, explains how the company uses AI technology to analyzetarffic data.

Dunbar told WPTV their technology keeps tabs on the movement of traffic and other roadway data, even identifying current and future traffic trends.

"We hear from states where we've licensed our technology for transportation management they can respond to incidents up to 15 to 20 minutes faster," Dunbar said. "Every one minute of an incident on a roadway creates 15 minutes of congestion. There's a huge, huge safety impact to that."

Between 2011-20, data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics identified Florida as the state with the second highest amount of worker deaths at road construction sites with 99 deaths over those 10 years.

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Jessica Barraero, who has lived in South Florida her whole life, shares how she has witnessed traffic worsen over the years.

Dunbar said they're hoping to help bring those numbers down.

"We have a crash risk feature that looks at real-time traffic data. It looks at historic traffic data. It looks at other data," Dunbar said. "It helps states understand the risk of a crash at a certain spot at a certain time."

Dunbar said Rekor's AI technology is currently being utilized in many states, including Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Connecticut and Oklahoma.

He said in most cases, the software is purchased by cities, towns or law enforcement agencies.

"If it's going to help the community grow and move, I think it's a great idea," Barrero said.