Help Wanted Crowdsourcing for Traffic Safety Project

Bonnie Johnson - Monday, July 10, 2017
Help Wanted Crowdsourcing for Traffic Safety Project

“Safety is a top priority for Snohomish County; we welcome the opportunity to be a partner on a regional team exploring innovative ways to improve intersections or roads safety”, said Steve Thomsen, Snohomish County Public Works Director.

Multiple organizations across the country are contributing to this project. Locally, Snohomish County and the City of Bellevue are stepping to the lead, to provide traffic camera footage and feedback to Microsoft. This is in order to aid technology which can predict where future collisions may occur, “through analyzing traffic camera footage and identifying near misses,” according to the County website.

“The project, called Video Analytics Towards Vision Zero, will use machine learning technology…” That means, participants ‘teach’ computers how to recognize objects such as pedestrians, wheelchairs, vehicles, and bicyclists. Begin by watching the video on the website noted below and identify each, which contributes to the computer’s education or ‘machine learning technology’. The goal is that the computer technology will identify the when/where/why factors commonly associated with accidents and once identified, can be reduced. It’s based a system of algorithms, broken down by the data provided in the crowdsourcing

Simply begin by watching a four minute tutorial, which leads to video shorts of traffic, then and details how you, the viewer, can use cross hairs to select objects on the screen and identify them. It is a very simple and fun way to break up your spare time, and might save a life some day; you may even recognize some of the Snohomish County intersections in the videos. Microsoft didn’t have to look beyond their backyard to find material, although they did collect footage from across the country, as well.

For those in the public who would like to contribute, please start here: By participating, you can help save lives, and contribute to improved traffic and safety.

Snohomish County stresses that this crowdsourcing effort is critical to the programs accuracy and success.