Connected vehicle technology could curtail work zone crashes



Connected vehicle technology, that enables vehicles to interact with one another and together with infrastructure, may significantly reduce the amount of work-zones crashes by alerting drivers until they even see road construction signs, specialists say.

Passengers will be alerted by means of an auditory, a sign or a seat. If road crews’ automobiles, such as slow-moving striping trucks, are outfitted with this technology, the drivers could find the collision warning when vehicles are dangerously approaching a work zone. It’s possible that a flagger could have dedicated communications beacons on equipment, so that data will be broadcast out to individuals on the roadside, also, not only the cars.

The connected vehicle (CV) technology can help combat the rising problem of drivers distracted with texting and infotainment systems causing work-zone accidents, states Gerald Ullman, a nationally recognized expert in work-zone security and mobility management and management.

“We’ve already got evaluation deployments out on your way, so that is pretty close to moving ahead,” states Ullman, a senior researcher in Texas A&M Transportation Institute. &ldquoWe believe there’ll be the workers as well as security advantages to the traveling public. ”

It’so hoped the alerts can catch the attention of all drivers, but especially the distracted, states Craig Parker, vice president of Silver Star Construction in Oklahoma City and chairman of the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

Since April 2017, if a driver critically injured one of his own flaggers, Parker has been searching the net and speaking to get the most current Intelligent Transportation System technology to shield crews.

“I believe we will see systems that will transmit data to automobiles alerting them to operate Parker states.

“Given distracted drivers would be the largest safety issue facing the industry at this time and security suppliers are focusing on solutions to this issue. We shall have to help our customers — the DOTs, FHWAcities, counties, etcetera — get these security devices employed on the projects. ”

Connected vehicles collect information regarding weather conditions and other vehicles also transmit it each 10 seconds in a sign that also includes vehicle identification, for example Vehicle No. 1048, for instance. The basic message is delivered between automobiles, and between automobiles and a transmitter. The transmitter may transmit data to be obtained by the vehicle. 

Those messages could pop up in an infotainment system or from smartphone programs, Ullman states.

Wyoming job deploying CV technology 

In the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), Project Manager Ali Ragan insists the emerging technology has capacity to make streets safer for everybody, such as road crews.

On Wyoming’s southern boundary, a connected-vehicle pilot software is being deployed along a 402-mile stretch of I-80, also a major east-west corridor bearing over 11,000 vehicles per day, including many freight trucks. Visibility, snow, fog and strong winds bring about fatalities and crashes, ” she states.

WYDOT is currently equipping personal fleet trucks, patrol cars and 400 snowplow trucks, and 75 roadside units together with the technology, Ragan states. The vehicles and also roadside units will ship and receive broadcast messages employing dedicated toll-free telephone communications (DSRC), that function on multiple stations around the 5.9 GHz radio frequency.

“One of our programs is specifically for work zones, also it may be used in the high highway speeds,” Ragan states.

Employees can be benefited by it as well as improve security for people driving or through the work zones, ” she states. Drivers will receive info regarding activities or restrictions. 

“We can let them know about obstacles from the car ’s travel lane, lane closures, lane changes, speed reductions, or whether you can find vehicles entering or exiting the shuttle,” Ragan states.

The 75 roadside infrastructure units will be installed along the corridor based on recognized hotspots for accidents or bad weather, ” she states.

Sponsored by the USDOT Joint Program Office for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), the program’s goal is to pioneer deployment of linked automobile engineering in three locations, which also include New York City and Tampa, Florida.

Back in Wyoming, Ragan says, about 300 of the 400 vehicles at the pilot belong to firms agreeing to work with WYDOT so their fleet drivers may observe the security benefit of connected vehicles. “And we’ll be in a position to collect data to check the power of the system,” she states, noting that data is going to be shared with other states and agencies as part of this program.

Back in 2016, a number of 143 workers died in road construction accidents across the country, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

“It’s a very dangerous endeavor,” Ragan states. “We’re hoping to make it safer by using this technology to provide drivers more information, so they can make travel choices a little more quickly. They could be merging into the other lane sooner, which improves safety for the workers who are outside on the roadway. We want to make it safer for drivers. ”

New age of Intelligent Transportation Systems 

Connected vehicles are one of Intelligent Transportation Systems  technologies that incorporate advanced communications technologies into transportation infrastructure and to vehicles.

Ragan says there’s discussion among vehicle manufacturers about the ideal way to implement associated vehicle technology.

“There has to be a rule basically that informs the automakers, ‘Put this on all of your vehicles and begin transmitting,’” Ullman indicates. “That has been moving ahead; we’re at a holding country right now since the current administration hasn’t left a determination on if they want to make that rule occur or not. But despite it, a few manufacturers are stating, ‘We’re simply going to begin doing it. In the very leastwe can talk amongst our personal vehicles, also when there’other vehicles out therewe’ll begin sharing information. ’” 

Toyota and Lexus recently announced plans to set up DSRC systems on automobiles offered in the United States beginning in 2021, with the goal of adoption across the majority of its lineup by the mid-2020s. Those manufacturers say DSRC represents a significant step ahead in creating a safer and more efficient driving ecosystem — while also advancing automated and connected technology deployment.

In comparison with connected-vehicle equipment, the driverless (autonomous) automobiles and truck platooning are farther away from complete deployment, with doubt surrounding their uses, and up to now, some crashes producing concern.

“They’re hoping to have the ability to limit where they perform autonomous vehicle operations to lower-speed roadways then watching for signs that say labour zones,” Ullman states. “And the moment they view work zonethey say, ‘Hey, you just take more, I don’t understand exactly what to do. ’” 

Tesla and Cadillac and some other vehicles offer driver assistance providers or options in their vehicles, and it is a level of autonomous vehicle operation, he notes.

Better work-zone documenting needed

“The large push at the work-zone arena at the moment is realizing that we will need to think of a mechanism to capture exactly what is going to be achieved and also what is actually being done in virtually real time,” Ullman says of work-zone information.

Some agencies are working together with smartphone programs that, as an instance, allow the builder to tap in the place of a lane closure and ship it to a computer, and then send a second message when the job is completed. Entering such information could shortly be included in bid specifications, he states.

“In the rather short long run,” Ullman states, “it will begin impacting how contractors have to bid their tasks. You’ll have to consider that need into consideration when you’re performing your own estimates. ” 

Finally, he forecasts, functionality demands may be tied to that. “If you get out there and don’t inform us ahead of time, and you don’t record if you get out there, then you may be penalized. Or perhaps in the event that you do it properly, there’s a bonus to providing good information,” he states. 

Real-time data could benefit contractors 

“Ultimately, it could positively influence the contractors themselves if there’s accurate info regarding exactly what ’s going out on the road,” Ullman states. “They can use that for estimating how long it’s definitely going to take to conduct loads back and forth of concrete, also state , ‘I’m definitely going to get to bring yet another concrete truck since we’re having traffic backing up and that’s increasing travel times. ’” 

As the tech keeps data flowing about what road workers do and in which, the employees ’ influence on traffic could eventually be predictive and helpful for all drivers. Those who check their paths ahead could divert should they see that a job zone, by way of instance, and that could lessen traffic circulation to the job zone, enhancing both the circulation and security, Ullman notes.

The connected vehicle technology is expected to be used more within the upcoming few decades, he states , “when we can begin doing a better job of obtaining information about real work-zone occasions and locations and influences. We’ve obtained navigational assistance — Google Traffic and WAZE — and each of these companies that are taking information at the moment and now rerouting. If they could detect a significant backup, by way of instance, they’ll say, ‘Hey, go this way. ’”

For road leaders, their part may be as simple as punching information to a smartphone,” he states.

A couple of DOTs require such compliance today. In California, as an instance, Caltrans requires contractors to submit requests for approval for where they need to perform roadwork times in advance. When they get to the job zonethey call it in. Caltrans is focusing on the best way to accept the information via a telephone. Virginia is working on a similar application.

The procedure will become more widespread, Ullman forecasts, since the Federal Highway Administration’s. 

“We’re hoping to make the roadway safer for everybody,” states Ragan. “We believe this technology has the capacity to make it safer on the roadsides for the people that are out doing the job, and not only while they’re out there but while they’re traveling to and from a worksite. ” 

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