Focus Area
ITS Technologies
Submitting On Behalf Of
AASHTO Committee on TSO
Critical - High Priority
$250,000 - 499,000
2 - 3 years
Type of Research
Full Research Project
Date Posted
Jul 31, 2020
Not Funded

Research Description

Technology currently exists which can help ensure the safety of roadside workers and other personnel operating in close proximity to automated vehicle systems. Digital alerting is a technology that communicates critical information directly to individuals and devices. Currently, digital alerting is used to notify drivers to the presence of emergency roadway conditions through third-party driver routing applications (WAZE, Google Maps, Apple Maps, etc.). This research proposes expanding digital alerting technology to incorporate an array of personal protective equipment for individuals working in close proximity to automated vehicle systems. By alerting an autonomous vehicle digitally to the presence of roadside workers, emergency responders, and other personnel, the autonomous vehicle system can reroute, slow down, or stop at prescribed distances before encroaching on the individual’s location. This technology means that the autonomous vehicle is not reliant upon its onboard sensors alone to detect, recognize, and respond to the presence of personnel. Instead, autonomous vehicles can detect the personnel without the use of cameras, long-range radar, ultrasonic sensors, or other onboard instruments. This two-way safety system effectively allows autonomous vehicles to detect individuals around corners, through walls, and behind visual barriers. In addition to slowing, stopping, and/or rerouting the automated vehicle, this technology will also alert personnel, through their connected personal protection equipment, that an autonomous vehicle is encroaching into their workspace. Personal protective vest or hardhats can be outfitted to vibrate or otherwise sound an alarm when an autonomous vehicle is within a prescribed distance.

Additional Supporting Information

Additional supporting information can be provided by Dr. Scott Parr.

Scott Parr, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Civil Engineering Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 1 Aerospace Blvd. Daytona Beach, FL 32114 Office: Leman 321 Phone: (386) 226 – 7530 Email:

Submitted By
Jianming Ma
Texas DOT


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