AAAI Publications, Thirty-First AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Combining Satellite Imagery and Open Data to Map Road Safety
Alameen Najjar, Shun’ichi Kaneko, Yoshikazu Miyanaga

Last modified: 2017-02-12


Improving road safety is critical for the sustainable development of cities. A road safety map is a powerful tool that can help prevent future traffic accidents. However, accurate mapping requires accurate data collection, which is both expensive and labor intensive. Satellite imagery is increasingly becoming abundant, higher in resolution and affordable. Given the recent successes deep learning has achieved in the visual recognition field, we are interested in investigating whether it is possible to use deep learning to accurately predict road safety directly from raw satellite imagery. To this end, we propose a deep learning-based mapping approach that leverages open data to learn from raw satellite imagery robust deep models able to predict accurate city-scale road safety maps at an affordable cost. To empirically validate the proposed approach, we trained a deep model on satellite images obtained from over 647 thousand traffic-accident reports collected over a period of four years by the New York city Police Department. The best model predicted road safety from raw satellite imagery with an accuracy of 78%. We also used the New York city model to predict for the city of Denver a city-scale map indicating road safety in three levels. Compared to a map made from three years' worth of data collected by the Denver city Police Department, the map predicted from raw satellite imagery has an accuracy of 73%.


Deep learning; Satellite imagery; Open data; Road safety; Computational sustainability; Convolutional Neural Networks

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