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"A first for the city": Four Naples intersections will use AI to improve safety

The new technology is expected to be online as early as June 2024.
Posted at 7:25 PM, Apr 17, 2024

NAPLES, Fla — AI will soon be "watching" you on some of your own streets, if you live in Naples!

On Wednesday, the city council appr

oved funding that would help the city access state dollars and pay for tech upgrades that should improve the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

For Nancy Murray, getting around Naples by bike is an every day routine, despite the risk. "Another friend of ours got hit by a bike recently, and so, it is a little scary," Murray said.

Now, it's not the first time the safety of people on foot and on two wheels has been a concern in Naples. For years now, as traffic continues to increase, so does the risk to walkers and bicycles.

Naples traffic intersection AI new technology
Fox 4's Naples Community Correspondent Mahmoud Bennett spends a moment with Nancy Murray and her dog to find out what it's like to bike around Naples. Murray said she's known other people on bikes who have been hit by cars, as recently as the week prior.

In 2018, the city purchased and installed bike detection equipment for the intersection of Goodlette Rd. and Central Avenue. But this time, there's an upgrade.

"The upgrades will make use of newer technology, including AI," Naples traffic engineer Alison Bickett told Fox 4's Naples Community Correspondent Mahmoud Bennett.

The company installing new tech is DERQ and they specialize in AI and predictive analytics,.

"The software system has AI technology that can detect pedestrians approaching the intersection, stepping across, and as they're actually in the intersection – or bikes; they can actually detect them," Bickett explained.

The intersections where AI will be "watching" you drive include:

  • US41 and Central Avenue
  • US41 and 3rd Avenue South
  • Park Shore Drive and Crayton Road
  • Harbour Drive and Crayton Road

On its website, DERQ says it offers "real-time identification and classification of safety events such as near-misses, collisions, violations, and pedestrian and cyclist compliance issues... to better inform safety issues."

The city says the new changes could come as early as June.