SciTech Now Episode 4

Episode four of SciTech Now brings you the latest breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation. We step inside a museum making math fun, we see drones take flight across America, we learn about the science of song and its effect on the brain, we meet a man trying to revolution the “big box” shopping experience, and we get an inside look at the technology keeping our cities safe.

TRANSCRIPT

> COMING UP, MAKING MATH FUN AND ACCESSIBLE.

IF WE SPARK CURIOSITY, THAT WORKS LIKE ANYTHING.

DRONES TAKE FLIGHT ACROSS AMERICA.

WE CALL IT A GIANT MALTESE.

IT'S A NICKNAME FOR MOSQUITOS IN AUSTRALIA.

THE SCIENCE OF SONG AND ITS EFFECT ON THE BRAIN.

THEY GAVE ME A SOLO AND I WAS LIKE -- I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN HAPPIER.

AND TECHNOLOGY THAT IS KEEPING OUR CITIES SAFE.

IT'S ALL AHEAD.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.

> HELLO.

I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

WELCOME TO 'SCITECH NOW,' BRINGING YOU THE LATEST BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION.

LET'S GET STARTED.

ONE MIGHT GROAN AT THE MERE THOUGHT OF MATH, BUT IF THE STEADY FLOW OF VISITORS IS ANY INDICATION, TO SOME, MATH IS ANYTHING BUT BORING.

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MATHEMATICS IS THE ONLY MATH MUSEUM IN THE COUNTRY.

A HARVARD GRADUATE WHO LATER TAUGHT MATHEMATICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN AND WORKED AT A HEDGE FUND HAD THE IDEA TO OPEN IT.

WE SORT OF HAVE A STRANGE ATTITUDE TOWARD MATHEMATICS.

I'VE SEEN IT AT A PARTY.

IT'S OKAY TO SAY, YOU KNOW, I WAS TERRIBLE AT MATH.

WEREN'T YOU?

YOU WOULD NEVER SAY, I COULD NEVER REALLY READ VERY WELL.

IT WOULDN'T HAPPEN.

SO WE HAVE A PROBLEM THAT IS HOLDING US BACK AND I WANTED TO SEE IF I COULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

COLLABORATORS HAVE RAISED $23 MILLION SO FAR AND IT'S ATTRACTING MANY MORE VISITORS THAN EXPECTED.

THOSE EXHIBITS ABOUT TURNING MATH INTO THINGS YOU CAN TOUCH AND FEEL AND DO.

THIS IS CALLED HUMAN TREE.

YOU HOLD YOUR ARMS UP IN THE AIR AND YOU'LL SEE LOTS OF COPIES OF YOURSELF.

HIT THE WORD YES.

AND WE'LL COMBINE OUR IMAGES.

AND NOW YOU'RE ON MY SHOULDERS.

AND I'M ON YOUR SHOULDERS.

AND NOW THE TWO OF US ARE ACTUALLY COLLABORATING TO CREATE THIS PATTERN.

SO WHAT DOES THIS TEACH KIDS ABOUT MATH?

WELL, FIRST OFF, IT TEACHES KIDS THAT MATH IS NOT JUST ABOUT NUMBERS, BUT ALSO ABOUT PATTERNS.

IT TEACHES THEY CAN WORK TOGETHER.

AND IT TEACHES KIDS THAT BEAUTIFUL THINGS COME FROM GREAT SIMPLE IDEAS.

AN EXHIBIT CALLED MATH SQUARE, AN EVER CHANGING DISPLAY, ITS GOAL, TO MAKE THE PUZZLES AND GAMES A CONTACT SPORT.

I LIKE THE MATH SQUARE THAT IS BEHIND ME BECAUSE IT HAS A LOT OF FUN SHAPES AND A LOT OF FUN ACTIVITIES.

ON THE GROUND FLOOR, THE MUSEUM'S TARGET AUDIENCE OF 4th TO 8th GRADERS AREN'T THE ONLY ONES LINING UP TO RIDE THE SQUARE WHEEL TRIKES.

THIS IS THE ONE I ALWAYS READ ABOUT.

WHAT ARE WE LEARNING?

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SURPRISE.

YOU JUST ROLL AWAY.

YOU DON'T EVEN NEED TO USE YOUR HANDS.

AND THE POINT IS EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT A SQUARE WHEEL CAN'T POSSIBLY ROLL, RIGHT?

BUT WITH MATH, YOU CAN MAKE THINGS THAT SEEM TO BE IMPOSSIBLE, YOU CAN MAKE THEM POSSIBLE.

THAT ELEMENT OF SURPRISE.

AN ELEMENT OF LIKE I'VE NEVER SEEN FIGURE LIKE THAT BEFORE.

THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO SHOW KIDS.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT, THIS IS A HECK OF A LOT OF FUN.

BUT FOR WHITNEY, THERE IS A FAR MORE SERIOUS SIDE.

WE WANT TO HAVE EXPERIENCES THAT CAN BE ENTERED AT THE VISCERAL LEVEL.

IF WE SPARK CURIOSITY, THEN THAT ILLUMINATION, LIKE FIGURING OUT HOW TO PLAY THE FLUTE BETTER.

YOU HAVE TO PRACTICE.

SO THAT COMES THROUGH THE KIND OF ATTENTION THAT MAYBE CAN'T HAPPEN IN THE MUSEUM, BUT WE CAN LIGHT THE SPARK HERE.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE PEOPLE TAKE AWAY FROM THE VISIT?

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOU CAN BE INVOLVED WITH MATH AND YOU CAN CREATE MATHEMATICAL IDEAS AND STRUCTURES THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL AND EXCITING.

YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN 3D SCULPTURE.

YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN SET OF TILES THAT INTERLOCK IN UNIQUE WAYS.

EVERYBODY IS ABLE TO BE INVOLVED WITH MATH AND DO SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL AND EXCITING.

VISIT THE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MATHEMATICS.

♪♪

> ACROSS THE COUNTRY DRONES ARE TURNING UP IN THE AIR AND IN THE NEWS.

FROM THE SEATTLE SPACE NEEDLE TO THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE, AMATEUR DRONES TAKING TO THE SKIES HAS EVERYONE BUZZING ABOUT THESE HIGH TECH AERIAL VEHICLES.

MEANWHILE, IN AMERICA'S HEARTLAND, RESEARCHERS AND FARMERS ARE USING DRONES TO HELP FIGURE OUT THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTURE.

USED TO BE IT WAS ALL HANDS-ON.

YOU DROVE THE TRACTORS.

YOU MANUALLY CHANGED THINGS.

JEFF IS A CORN, WHEAT AND SOYBEAN FARMER AND HIS JOB HAS CHANGED A LOT OVER THE YEARS.

AND WHILE NOT ALL FARMERS ARE EAGER TO ADOPT THE NEW TECHNOLOGY, JEFF IS.

WE ONLY HAVE SO MUCH LAND THAT CAN GROW CROPS AND THIS PLANET CONTINUES TO HAVE MORE PEOPLE ON IT, SO WE HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB ON THE LAND WE HAVE AND GET MORE OUT OF THE RESOURCES WE PUT IN, GET HIGHER YIELDS TO FIELD MORE PEOPLE.

BUT WHAT IF THERE WAS A WAY TO INCREASE CROP YIELD AND FARMER PROFITABILITY WHILE DECREASING OVERFERTILIZATION AND WATER WASTE?

AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY, A TEAM IS PILOTING A PROJECT THAT WILL DO JUST THAT.

WE CALL IT A GIANT MALTESE BECAUSE IT'S LIKE A -- MALTESE IS NICKNAME FOR MOSQUITOS IN AUSTRALIA.

IT SOUNDS LIKE A MOSQUITO, BUT I USE TO FLY OVER AND DETECT CHANGES.

HE'S AN ITALIAN NATIVE AND RELOCATED TO AMERICA'S HEARTLAND TO PILOT A NEW RESEARCH PROJECT USING UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES OTHERWISE KNOWN AS DRONES.

WHEN A DRONE FLIES OVER A FIELD, IT DETECTS INFORMATION ABOUT THE PLANT.

SO YOU CAN GET INFORMATION FOR IT A VERY LARGE AREA.

COMMERCIAL DRONES HAVE BEEN USED BY FARMERS TO USED.

AND IT'S ESTIMATED THAT 90% OF ALL DRONE USE BY THE YEAR 2025 WILL BE IN AGRICULTURE.

BUT IT DOES MUCH MORE THAN TAKE PRETTY PICTURES.

THIS DRONE CAN SURVEY LARGE SECTIONS OF LAND WHICH LEND FARMERS VALUABLE INSIGHT.

EVERYTHING THAT I DO IN THE FIELD COSTS ME MONEY.

WHETHER IT'S THE SEED I BUY, THE FERTILIZER, THE CHEMICALS APPLIED.

IF I CAN GET THE MOST EFFICIENT USE OUT OF THAT RESOURCE, WHETHER SEED, FERTILIZER, I WANT TO GROW THE MOST CROP I CAN OUT OF THAT GIVEN UNIT.

BUT INCREASING THE AMOUNT OF FERTILIZER DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN A FARMER WILL SEE AN INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF CROPS HE CAN PRODUCE.

AND FOR BRUNO, IT CAN BE A WASTE.

UNIFORM APPLICATION, BY DEFINITION, IT OVERESTIMATES ONE AREA AND UNDERESTIMATES ANOTHER AREA.

AND SO THE ONE SIZE FITS ALL IS NOT THE CASE.

THERE IS A LOT OF VARIABILITY.

SO THE DRONE TELLS THEM ABOUT THE VARIABILITY.

UNDERSTANDING FIELD VARIABILITY IS ONE PART OF THE PUZZLE.

BUT A FARMER HAS TO KNOW WHAT MEASURES TO TAKE.

SO BRUNO IS DEVELOPING EASY TO USE SOFTWARE THAT NOT ONLY BREAKS THE INFORMATION DOWN, IT ACTUALLY CREATES A PREDICT MODEL THAT ALLOWS THE FARMER TO DIGITALLY TEST OUT A CHANGE IN PRACTICES WITHOUT ANY RISK TO THEIR YIELD.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF BRUNO'S RESEARCH ARE CLEAR.

SMART ADVANCEMENTS IN AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY COULD BE THE KEY TO INCREASING FARMERS PROFITABILITY, DECREASING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT AND INCREASING FOOD PRODUCTION TO SUPPORT AN EVERY GROWING GLOBAL POPULATION.

IT'S EXPECTED THAT AT LEAST 30,000 DRONES OF ALL TYPES WILL OCCUPY U.S. AIR SPACE BY 2020.

♪♪

> I WORK AT THE FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY WHICH IS A PART OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA.

IT'S SCARY IN SOME PARTS OF THE WORLD, BUT IT'S COMING EVERYWHERE.

OUR COMMUNITY IS VERY AWARE BECAUSE WE'RE OUT THERE, HOW RAPIDLY THE PLANET IS DISAPPEARING, POPULATIONS AND SPECIES ARE DISAPPEARING.

AND IN MANY WAYS, IF I WANT TO CONTRIBUTE TO HUMANITY, THERE IS A DICHOTOMY IN SCIENCE WHETHER YOU SHOULD BE GOING TO THE CUTTING EDGE WHAT TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS YOU AND PUSH THE ENVELOPE, AND THAT IS EXCITING AND EVERYBODY REWARDS THAT.

I FEEL THAT REALLY DOCUMENTING THE PLANET BEFORE WE LOSE MORE OF IT IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT IN SOME WAYS THAN PUSHING THE ENVELOPE OF DISCOVERIES.

AND OF COURSE BOTH ARE IMPORTANT.

> IN OUR NEXT SEGMENT, WE MEET THE UNFORGETTABLES, A GROUP THAT SHOWS HOW TECHNOLOGY, MEDICINE AND MUSIC ARE GIVING HOPE WITH PEOPLE TO DEMENTIA AND INSPIRATION TO THEIR CAREGIVERS.

HERE'S THE STORY.

♪♪

> MUSIC PLAYS AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE BRAIN.

IT ENGAGES AREAS OF THE BRAIN INVOLVED WITH PAYING ATTENTION, MAKING PREDICTIONS AND UPDATING MEMORY.

IT ALSO REDUCES STRESS, AGE RELAXATION AND ALLEVIATES DEPRESSION.

MARY MIDDLEMAN OF NYU'S COMPREHENSIVE CENTER ON BRAIN AGING HAS A UNIQUE CHORAL GROUP.

IT IS COMPOSED OF PERSONS WITH DEMENTIA AND THEIR CAREGIVERS.

THIS CHORUS HAS THE POTENTIAL TO HELP THEM COMMUNICATE AND PROVIDE PLEASURE TO ALL PARTICIPANTS.

THE CHORUS CONSISTED OF 13 WEEKLY REHEARSALS OVER A THREE MONTH PERIOD FOLLOWED BY A CONCERT.

WE'RE HOPING THAT BY COMPARING THE MEASURES TAKEN BEFORE THE FIRST REHEARSAL TO THE MEASURES TAKEN AFTER THE CONCERT THAT WE BEGIN TO SEE WHAT THE EFFECTS OF THIS CHORUS ARE ON THE WELL-BEING AND QUALITY OF LIFE OF ALL THE PARTICIPANTS.

ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE TYPICALLY LASTS BETWEEN 5 AND 15 YEARS AND CAN LAST AS LONG AS 20 YEARS IN AN OTHERWISE HEALTHY PERSON.

THE MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX OF THE BRAIN SEEMS TO LINK MEMORIES AND EMOTION AND MUSIC.

IT'S ALSO ONE OF THE LAST REGIONS TO DETERIORATE.

THIS COULD BE WHY MANY PEOPLE CAN REMEMBER AND SING ALONG TO TUNES FROM THEIR YOUTH WHILE ALL OTHER MEMORIES ARE LOST.

I DID SEE THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO RETAIN A LOT OF INFORMATION.

THEY NAMED THEMSELVES THE UNFORGETTABLES.

AND THEY WOULD LIGHT UP AND JUST BE EXCITED ABOUT WHICH SONGS ARE WE SINGING.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE BRAIN IS YOU HAVE THESE NEUROTRANSMITTERS THAT BRING A SENSE OF WELL-BEING.

THERE WAS A LOT OF FINGER SNAPPING AND HAND CLAPPING AND IT SEEMED TO WAKE THEM UP.

YOU WOULD SEE HOW THEY WOULD INTERACT AMONG THEMSELVES MORE.

SINCE THEY'RE ABLE TO REMEMBER THESE SONGS, IT GIVES THEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO COMMUNICATE.

THEY CAN REMINISCE TOGETHER ABOUT THINGS THAT HAVE HAPPENED IN THEIR PAST.

I WAS DIAGNOSED IN 2009.

I HAD TO LEAVE MY JOB.

SHE FORGET SOMETIMES AND SHE'LL SAY WHAT TIME IS IT OR WHAT DAY IS IT.

AND I USED TO SAY HOW MANY TIMES ARE YOU GOING TO ASK ME?

I USED TO GET FRUSTRATED.

THIS REALLY HELPS.

IT BRINGS HAPPY MEMORIES.

SINGING, YOU GO HOME AND YOU'RE SINGING IN YOUR HEAD.

THIS SINGING GROUP BONDS US AND WE HAVE A LOT OF FUN TOGETHER.

THEY GAVE ME A SOLO AND I WAS LIKE -- I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN HAPPIER.

♪♪

I'VE KNOWN TOM ABOUT 35 YEARS.

HE'S MY PARTNER.

I NOTICE NOW THAT IT TOOK A LONGER TIME TO GET TO WHERE HE WAS GOING.

THAT WAS PROBABLY THE FIRST SIGN.

YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN DO ANYTHING THAT YOU USED TO DO, BUT YOU CAN'T.

MY INTEREST IN COMING HERE WAS BESIDES TO HELP HIM, TO GET SOME SUPPORT SYSTEM.

IT LOOKS LIKE THIS IS THE KIND OF EXPERIENCE PEOPLE IN THE EARLY STAGES CAN ENJOY AND BENEFIT FROM.

WE REALLY HOPE TO DO A MUCH BIGGER STUDY BECAUSE THIS IS A VERY SMALL SAMPLE.

IT WILL NEED TO BE STUDIED IN A MORE RIGOROUS WAY WHICH WILL REQUIRE FUNDING.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO INVEST IN RESEARCH BECAUSE IF PROGRAMS LIKE THIS PROVIDE EVIDENCE OF THEIR EFFECTIVENESS, IT CAN BE VERY HELPFUL TO PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS.

> FOR MORE ON THE UNFORGETTABLES AND THE EFFECTS OF THE POWER OF SONG COMBINED WITH THE POWER OF SCIENCE, CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE.

♪♪

> IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN IN A BIG BOX RETAILER AND FRUSTRATED BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T FIND WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR, A COMPANY IN ST. LOUIS IS TRYING TO SOLVE THAT PROBLEM.

WHAT IS AISLE 411?

IF YOU'VE EVER BEEN IN A RETAIL STORE FRUSTRATED, AISLE 411 ALLOWS YOU TO PULL OUT YOUR PHONE, DO A SEARCH AND ACTUALLY MAP THE PRODUCT DOWN TO THE SECTION OF THE AISLE IT'S LOCATED IN.

SO YOU GO IN AND YOU SAY I'VE GOT TEN THINGS ON MY SHOPPING LIST, THE AVERAGE SHOPPER ACTUALLY LEAVES THE STORE WITH ABOUT 20% OF THOSE ITEMS THAT WERE ORIGINALLY ON THEIR LIST AND THEY LEAVE WITHOUT THEM.

YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE UNTAPPED POTENTIAL THAT THERE IS ANOTHER 20%, IT'S NOT ABOUT WHAT IS IN THE SHOPPING CART, IT'S WHAT ABOUT THEY NEEDED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

CORRECT.

AND WE ARE ALSO RECOMMEND HIGHLY RELEVANT PRODUCTS THAT YOU MAY REALLY THEY'D BUT HAVEN'T THOUGHT OF.

WE'VE HEARD SOME BIG COMPANIES LIKE GOOGLE THAT ARE STARTING TO TAKE MAPS FROM THE OUT DOORS INTO THE INDOORS.

WHERE IS INDOOR MAPPING HEADED?

INDOOR MAPPING WILL EVOLVE WHERE INDOOR MAPS ARE ACTUALLY IN THE BACKGROUND.

COMPANIES WILL USE THE CONTEXT OF WHERE YOU'RE LOCATED TO SERVE YOU MORE RELEVANT INFORMATION.

THERE IS A HUGE OPPORTUNITY THAT INVOLVES COOL TECHNOLOGY THAT ACTUALLY LEVERAGES A COUPLE THINGS ALREADY IN YOUR PHONE.

THERE IS A MAGNETIC FIELD ASSOCIATED WITH EVERY PLACE THAT YOU ARE STANDING IN AND IF WE CAPTURE THAT MAGNETIC FIELD, WE ACTUALLY CAN KNOW WHERE YOU'RE STANDING.

FOR THE CONSUMER, I GET A BETTER READ ON WHERE THE PRODUCTS ARE IN THE STORE.

FOR THE STORE, THEY GET A BETTER READ OF EXACTLY WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR AND THEY MAY BE ABLE TO HELP ME MAKE THAT BUYING DECISION?

EXACTLY.

YOU NAILED IT RIGHT THERE.

YOU THINK ABOUT GOING TO A WEBSITE.

RETAILER ON THAT WEBSITE HAS AN UNDERSTANDING OF EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR, WHAT YOU'RE SEARCHING FOR.

AND CAN RECOMMEND PRODUCTS WITH A SCIENCE.

SO WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE THE PHYSICAL STORE AND DIGITIZE IT SO WE CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THE SHOPPER CAME TO THE STORE, WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR.

AND IN ESSENCE MAKE A HAPPY SHOPPER AND BUILD A BIGGER SALE BASKET FOR THE RETAILER.

SO YOU'RE REALLY TRYING TO GIVE THE OLD FASHIONED BRICK AND MORTAR THE SAME TYPE OF ADVANTAGE THAT ONLINE RETAILERS HAVE TODAY.

THAT'S RIGHT.

50% OF SHOPPERS PREFER TO USE THEIR MOBILE DEVICE TO HELP THEM SHOP VERSUS TALKING TO AN ASSOCIATE.

AND THAT IS A DRAMATIC SHIFT THAN EVEN THREE YEARS AGO.

SO RETAILERS HAVE INVESTED IN E-COMMERCE, BUT THERE IS A MISSING GAP WHERE THE DIGITAL AND IN-STORE EXPERIENCE HAS TO COME TOGETHER.

ALL RIGHT.

NATHAN, GOOD LUCK TO YOU AND THANKS FOR JOINING US.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

♪♪

> HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED HOW TRAFFIC LIGHTS ACTUALLY WORK?

IN ORANGE COUNTY, FLORIDA AND AROUND THE COUNTRY, KEEPING TRAFFIC FLOWING SMOOTHLY IS MORE COMPLICATED THAN YOU MIGHT THINK.

WE GO INSIDE THE SILVER BOX TO LEARN MORE.

IT JUST WENT YELLOW.

AND NOW GREEN.

WE WANT TRAFFIC TO FLOW EFFICIENTLY.

AND EVERYBODY IS DOING THEIR BEST TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

FRUSTRATION HAS TO DO WITH CAPACITY.

IN ORDER TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC FLOW, YOU HAVE TO INCREASE CAPACITY.

WE MANAGE PROBABLY ABOUT 300 INTERSECTIONS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA.

IN ORANGE COUNTY ALONE, IF YOU TAKE ALL THE CITIES AND ADD THEM ALL UP, WE'RE PROBABLY PUSHING 1500 TRAFFIC SIGNALS OR MORE MAYBE CLOSER TO 2,000 JUST IN ORANGE COUNTY AND SEMINOLE COUNTY.

THERE ARE SEVERAL AGENCIES WE WORK WITH.

FIRST IS OUR CLIENT WHICH WOULD BE THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

SO WE WORK WITH GENERALLY THE CITY, COUNTY ENGINEER, PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT AND WE GO OVER THEIR NEEDS AND WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR.

AND IN EVERY CASE, THEY'RE WORKING WITH THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

BIGGEST ADVENT IS THE COUNTDOWN PEDESTRIAN SIGNAL HAS AIDED PEDESTRIANS IN HOW MUCH TIME THEY HAVE IN CROSSING THE STREET AS OPPOSED TO A FLASHING HAND THAT SAID -- JUST STARTED FLASHING AND YOU HAD NO IDEA HOW MUCH TIME YOU HAD LEFT.

THE COUNTDOWN TELLS YOU PRECISELY.

AT EVERY INTERSECTION, THERE IS THE CABINET THAT CONTROLLING THE SIGNAL.

THE PROGRAM HAS DIFFERENT MOVEMENTS.

WE HAVE EIGHT STANDARD MOVEMENTS OF TRAFFIC, FOUR LEFT TURNS, FOUR THROUGH.

AND THEN WE HAVE THE PEDESTRIAN SIGNALS, THE FOUR MOVEMENTS OF THE PEDESTRIAN MOVEMENTS CONCURRENT WITH THE GREEN LIGHT OF THE THROUGH TRAFFIC.

THESE ARE DETECTOR AMPLIFIERS.

THE CONTROLLER IS LITERALLY TURNING THE RED LIGHT ON AND OFF.

THE YELLOW LIGHT AND GREEN LIGHT ON AND OFF.

AND TRAFFIC SIGNAL WILL PROBABLY RUN CLOSE TO $250,000 PER INTERSECTION.

THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION HAS AN AGREEMENT THAT SAYS IF WE BUILD A ROAD AND WE BUILD A TRAFFIC SIGNAL, YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE OVER THE MANAGEMENT OF THAT.

AND SO ALL THE COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH MANAGING AND OPERATING THE TRAFFIC SIGNAL FALLS BACK ON THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

NEW TECHNOLOGY IS SLOW COMING BECAUSE OF THE SAFETY FACTORS.

D.O.T. IS VERY SPECIFIC ABOUT WHAT THEY WILL ALLOW TO BE INTEGRATED INTO A TRAFFIC SIGNAL SYSTEM.

WHEN YOU BOIL IT DOWN, IT COMES BACK TO SAFETY AND EFFICIENCY.

BEING SAFE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.

AND THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THIS TIME.

FOR MORE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE AND ALSO CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

FUNDING WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.