Real-time crash prediction models: State-of-the-art, design pathways and ubiquitous requirements

Proactive traffic safety management systems can monitor traffic conditions in real-time, identify the formation of unsafe traffic dynamics, and implement suitable interventions to bring unsafe conditions back to normal traffic situations. Recent advancements in artificial intelligence, sensor fusion and algorithms have brought about the introduction of a proactive safety management system closer to reality. The basic prerequisite for developing such a system is to have a reliable crash prediction model that takes real-time traffic data as input and evaluates their association with crash risk. Since the early 21st century, several studies have focused on developing such models. Although the idea has considerably matured over time, the endeavours have been quite discrete and fragmented at best because the fundamental aspects of the overall modelling approach substantially vary. Therefore, a number of transitional challenges have to be identified and subsequently addressed before a ubiquitous proactive safety management system can be formulated, designed and implemented in real-world scenarios. This manuscript conducts a comprehensive review of existing real-time crash prediction models with the aim of illustrating the state-of-the-art and systematically synthesizing the thoughts presented in existing studies in order to facilitate its translation from an idea into a ready to use technology. Towards that journey, it conducts a systematic review by applying various text mining methods and topic modelling. Based on the findings, this paper ascertains the development pathways followed in various studies, formulates the ubiquitous design requirements of such models from existing studies and knowledge of similar systems. Finally, this study evaluates the universality and design compatibility of existing models. This paper is, therefore, expected to serve as a one stop knowledge source for facilitating a faster transition from the idea of real-time crash prediction models to a real-world operational proactive traffic safety management system.