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'Connected Intersections' Aims to Improve Traffic Safety, Reduce Distraction

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'Connected Intersections' Aims to Improve Traffic Safety, Reduce Distraction


June 02, 2014

By Rachel Ramsey, Content Director

What do pedestrians, drivers, cyclists and other people on the streets of NYC have in common? Almost all of them are using smartphones, and unfortunately, they all contribute to unsafe behavior on the streets. In 2012, New York City experienced 10,925 crashes between pedestrians and cars, and the NYPD cited “driver inattention” as the cause of about a third of all crashes, beating the next category by more than two to one. In a continued effort to raise awareness about the dangers of texting while driving, AT&T (News - Alert) introduced Connected Intersections, a new traffic safety initiative to improve traffic safety in NYC and other urban areas.

Connected Intersections is a three-month challenge for developers and technologists to create apps and wearable solutions to make the public more aware of their immediate surroundings and reduce distraction.

"Mobile technology has allowed people and communities to connect in extraordinary ways, and as an industry leader, our goal is to facilitate ways for mobile technology to help be an asset, not a hindrance to public safety," said Marissa Shorenstein, New York State president of AT&T, in a statement. "The anti-texting while driving campaign championed by AT&T, It Can Wait, has raised awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. We want to build on its success by encouraging the development of apps and devices that use smartphones to improve traffic safety on New York City streets. We're eager to see what developers create over the next several months and hopeful this initiative will lead to mobile technology embraced by the public and sustained by developers."

Judges include Shorenstein, Matt Brimer, co-founder of General Assembly; Justin Hendrix, executive director at NYC Media Lab; Kim Wiley-Schwartz, assistant commissioner for education and outreach, NYC Department of Transportation; Mitchell Moss, director of NYU Rudin Center; and R. Luke Dubois, co-director and assistant professor of integrated digital media at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. Prizes include:

  • Solutions for drivers – grand prize, $10,000
  • Solutions for drivers – second prize, $5,000
  • Solutions for drivers – popular choice, $2,500
  • Solutions for drivers – large organization recognition award, non-cash recognition
  • Best solutions for multi-modal connections (2) -- $5,000
  • Solutions for pedestrians and cyclists – grand prize, $15,000
  • Solutions for pedestrians and cyclists – second prize, $5,000
  • Solutions for pedestrians and cyclists – popular choice, $2,500
  • Solutions for pedestrians and cyclists – large organization recognition award, non-cash recognition

All the rules and details can be found here.

This isn’t the only technological innovation challenge AT&T is hosting. If you have an idea for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M), check out the Fast Pitch event, where AT&T will be awarding prizes for functionality to the IoT, originality and ROI. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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