MARIETTA — Three Kennesaw State University professors are developing technology aimed at identifying potentially dangerous intersections long before collisions occur there.

The researchers are nearing completion on a two-and-a-half year project financed by the Georgia Department of Transportation to create a system for assessing the safety of busy intersections with the goal of saving lives.

The project, which began in 2015, is led by Jidong Yang, assistant profes-sor of civil engineering and director of KSU’s Georgia Pavement and Traffic Research Center; Ying Wang, associate professor of mechatronics engi-neering and computer science professor Chih-Cheng Hung.

The men are developing a software package that uses cameras already installed at major intersections to extract real-time traffic data. The cameras are programmed to spot near-collisions and track the data so it can be used by GDOT and other government agencies to identify issues that could lead to wrecks.

The program uses the trajectories extracted from live video to determine the direction and speed of the vehicles as they approach one another, and then determines the risk or probability of a collision.

The research is supported by a $180,000 grant from GDOT, which the professors received after pitching their idea to improve intersections.

Yang said dangerous intersections often go unnoticed until a significant number of wrecks have occurred there.

“You cannot let a crash occur and then do something. We think that’s too late,” Yang said. “Our goal is to prevent crashes from happening.”

The study is set to be completed by July.