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Tuesday, 05 August 2014 15:51

Software Predicts Serious Traffic Accidents, Aids Emergency Response

(MCT) — Hotshot Hollywood directors make movies about machines that can predict the future and software programs that can peer ahead in time. Silver screen villains plot to use the predictive power for evil; heroes fight for good.

The drama makes for great movies, but it's not all science fiction: the Tennessee Highway Patrol is already using that kind of technology every day.

It's called predictive analytic software. And it could be the start of a whole new generation of traffic safety, a new tool as revolutionary as seat belts or radar.

"It's the coming thing," said Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott.

Tennessee Highway Patrol analysts plug all sorts of factors into the software — like weather patterns, special events, home football schedules, festivals and historic crash data — and the program spits out predictions of when and where serious or fatal traffic accidents are most likely to happen.