UWindsor Researchers to Study Traffic Patterns at Ambassador Bridge


The University of Windsor's Cross Border Institute is embarking on a study to improve safety and better predict traffic at the Ambassador Bridge.

Researchers will be upgrading cameras along the Huron Church Road corridor this fall to collect real time data in an effort to better understand how traffic moves.

Institute director Dr. Bill Anderson says this is a major step forward.

"We've been working on this topic for years of trying to make predictions and it's not just a question of having the sensors to get the data, but it's also being able to get that data in real time because if you make a prediction and it's about things that have already happened that's worth nothing. So you've got to be able to make that prediction in time for people to use the information."

Anderson goes on to say that the goal is to make predicting traffic like forecasting weather.

"The important thing about this, it's expensive to get the sensors in the field and all of that type of stuff, but it's really to have the expertise and to develop the algorithms," he adds. "We've actually been working on the computer science side of this and once you know how to do that it's what's called machine learning. It's sort of like artificial intelligence."

According to Anderson, about a dozen students are working on the project as well.

"Really, what's important here is our students at the University of Windsor are going to be learning," he says, "We've got a great program for our undergraduates and masters students who come through and we're making sure that we have the latest and greatest in terms of technology and methods available for them."

 Anderson says the project may be expanded to the Gordie Howe International Bridge as well when it opens.

The five year study was made possible through a $150,000 grant from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and $206,000 from the Ontario Research Fund.