3-D Laser Tech Designed to Battle Traffic Gridlock

Experts said the new device could be the secret weapon in beating gridlock during I-4 Ultimate construction.

📅   Fri May 13, 2016 - Southeast Edition


Florida news affiliate WESH is reporting that new technology has been released, designed to reopen roads faster after crashes.
Florida news affiliate WESH is reporting that new technology has been released, designed to reopen roads faster after crashes.

Florida news affiliate WESH is reporting that new technology has been released, designed to reopen roads faster after crashes. It's a 3-D laser scanner.

Experts said the new device could be the secret weapon in beating gridlock during I-4 Ultimate construction.

Crashes not only claim human lives and cause injuries, but they cost time and money. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic gridlock is costing all Americans a trillion dollars a year -- enough money to buy a home for every single person in Florida.

"It is a huge economic savings to the people of central Florida," said Frank Hahnel, with Leica GeoSystems, of the device.

Hahnel's laser camera, which local police will begin using this summer, draws a three-dimensional image of objects.

"This technology is going to blow away any current technology that law enforcement is using," Hahnel said.

Investigators are already using 3-D laser cameras to scan crime scenes.

Leica and Riegl are two companies that are being paid by the Florida Department of Transportation, Expressway Authority and Metroplan to provide the newest devices to scan crashes.

They can create a 3-D image in a fraction of the time it takes for traditional cameras to document scenes, allowing roads to reopen more quickly.

"My promise with this technology is to get them to their places a whole lot faster than what they have right now," Hahnel said. "You know, anywhere from six to eight hours currently, we're going to drop it to an hour or less."

With all of the cranes and the construction equipment involved in the expansion of the I-4 Ultimate project during the next five years, having the 3-D laser systems to help clear crashes off the interstate is going to be especially critical.

The 3-D cameras are aimed at making the construction zone safer.

"When you have a crash, the likelihood of having a second crash occur is very high," said Eric Hill with Metroplan. "And the quicker we get the scene cleared, the quicker we can get traffic moving again."

Orlando police and the Florida Highway Patrol will be the first to put the new crash-clearing tools on the street.

Source: WESH