Statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that 4,800 pedestrians die every year in the US. Most of these accidents occur because both pedestrians and drivers are too dependent on mobile technology, which often causes distraction. This encouraged the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) to launch a project to protect students and other pedestrians on its campus.
The project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, consists of using beacon tech and an app to warn pedestrians of potential danger. For instance, as a pedestrian approaches a potentially dangerous intersection, beacons will send an alert to the app via Bluetooth. The app will then notify the pedestrian through an audio warning or vibration to stay alert and cross the street safely. UAB will start the project this summer, and a trial involving over 400 participants is expected to last for a year.