The IPA2X helping children cross the road in Milan, Source: Milan Municipality

Robot helps Milanese children cross the street safely

Robot helps Milanese children cross the street safely

There is a new player on the road traffic scene that drivers will have to take into account

Yesterday, 11 October, boys and girls from the Arcadia school, in the Gratosoglio district of Milan, took part in a fun and innovative experiment – crossing the street with the help of a robot on wheels.

The autonomous road assistant, called IPA2X, was designed as the result of an EIT Urban Mobility-funded project (also called IPA2X), which aims to increase the safety for pedestrians, especially children, disabled people and seniors, and to reduce injuries and fatalities in urban areas.

Other goals of the multi-partner project, which counts with the participation of the Municipality of Milan, are the reduction of noise and environmental pollution and the containment of service management costs.

Zero accidents with the help of AI tech

The experiment with the rover robot involved some teachers and about fifty pupils of two classes, a fourth and a fifth of the primary school of the Arcadia Institute, which joined the initiative. The field activity was preceded by a training course on the subject of road safety and new technologies, conducted with the collaboration of the local Police Corps School.

The test took place in a real context, but with a futuristic scenario: the robot, equipped with sensors and a video camera, informed the driver of the car, supplied by Skoda and equipped with connectivity and an interface able to communicate with the rover, of the presence of pedestrians about to cross and subsequently told the pupils to go ahead.

The presence of the local police ensured safety during the experiment and made it possible to collect useful feedback on the adaptability of the robot in the various contexts in which it could be called upon to operate. For their part, the boys and girls provided assessments on the perception of safety during the crossing and on the ease of reading and understanding the messages sent by the robot.



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