Las Vegas will use a $1.4 million Federal grant to deploy artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to improve pedestrian safety within the Freemont Street corridor, a popular pedestrian entertainment area.

The funding will be used to deploy AI-powered pedestrian detection systems which will allow the appropriate amount of time for street crossings. The city will use the new technology to detect pedestrians waiting to cross streets and adjust traffic signal timings and unprotected crossing flasher durations in real-time based on pedestrian volumes and speed to provide a safer crossing time window.

The funding comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grant program for the SMARTer and Safer Way to Cross project from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Thanks to funds I secured in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Las Vegas will pilot adaptive technology, significantly reducing pedestrian-related crashes and improving traffic flow along our community’s roadways. I will keep working in Congress to secure funding for projects that help safely move all roadway users around the Valley,” said Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.

The city has decided to pilot the technologies in the Freemont Street corridor, a pedestrian mall in downtown Las Vegas that attracts more than 26 million visitors per year. The area is a five-block semi-enclosed corridor in which large numbers of pedestrians walk across the intersecting streets and to nearby hotels, casinos, and restaurants.

“The city of Las Vegas is thankful for these federal grant funds so that this new technology can be tested and potentially lead to our roadways being safer for everyone,” Joey Paskey, director of public works for the city, said in a statement. “The city is committed to safety through our Vision Zero program.”

Read More About
Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs