Narrator: This is Science Today. Left-turn crashes at the intersections of our nation's busy city streets account for one-third of all intersection collisions – resulting in nine thousand deaths a year. University of California, Berkeley researchers are helping address this problem with a transportation safety project called Smart Intersection. Project researcher manager, Jim Misener, describes how smart intersection works.
Misener: As you approach the intersection, you want to turn left. There will be sensors on the side of the road that will measure range and speed as you approach the intersection. It will also measure the range and speed of the other car that approaches the intersection and when it predicts what could be conflict, a light on the left hand side will go on and it will flash left turn arrow with a slash through it, don't turn left. As soon as the processor on the side of the road calculates that it's safe to turn, the sign will turn off and you can proceed through the intersection safely.
Narrator: Although still in the testing phases, the smart intersection has already attracted a great deal of state and federal support. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.