Rhode Island Uses Neural Networks to Monitor Highways

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation has bought an intelligent highway management system from Nestor Inc., a Providence company whose systems incorporate neural network technology.

The state's DOT will use Nestor's TrafficVision Traffic Operations Center (TOC) stations to monitor a section of Interstate 95. The system will classify and count vehicles traveling along highways and generate traffic-flow measurements to help fight accidents, congestion and "sub-optimal" traffic flow, the company said.

TrafficVision TOC incorporates Nestor's proprietary, Intel-manufactured Nestor Ni1000 Recognition Accelerator chip. The company said the neural net-based chip has faster pattern-recognition capability than 100 PCs and reduces miscalculations due to shadows or other distortions. TrafficVision TOC, which can be configured to run with existing PCs and video cameras, also provides vehicle-speed and lane-change data, which can be presented as real-time graphs and charts.

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