Center for Safety Equity in Transportation

rural • isolated • tribal • indigenous

Developing a Prototype of a Smart-lighting System for Isolated Rural Intersections

  • Completed

    CSET Project #: 1910

    Project Funding: University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Start Date: September 2019

    End Date: September 2021

    Budget: $81294

Project Summary

Crashes at isolated intersections are dangerous, and most of the times they result in fatalities.
Studies have found that poor lighting plays a significant role in crashes. Since the rural roads
have low volume, especially at night, the drivers do not expect other vehicles. Studies
conducted in states like Iowa and, Washington found that providing lighting intersection reduces
the number of crashes by as much as 33 percent. Since most of Alaska is rural and isolated, the
challenges the people in rural areas face are entirely different from those faced by people in
urban areas. Since the rural regions have a lower population, they may not have sufficient
technical know-how, workforce, or resources to develop and implement safety interventions.
Through this proposal, design and development of a smart-lighting system are proposed. The
proposed smart-light system is a demand responsive lighting system, which detects the
presence of vehicles using sensors. Since Alaska is different from the lower 48 for various
reasons, including weather, and long winter nights, it is required to design and develop a smart-
lighting system suitable for rural Alaska. Through this project, a smart-lighting system which is
tested for both functionality and effectiveness will be developed. Along with it, an
implementation guideline, which will enable professionals with limited skill sets in electronics to
deploy such a system will also be made. This will help rural agencies and Alaska DOT & PF to
deploy the proposed smart-lighting system in large scale economically.

Project Products