Innovation

Roadway Safety Innovation

Innovation in the roadway safety industry

Outsiders of the transportation infrastructure industry may look to autonomous vehicles as an icon of innovation on the roadways, but for state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors in the roadway safety and infrastructure industry, innovation is not a stationary achievement. It is much more than a mile marker and not as easily defined.

With different perspectives and priorities, industry stakeholders are finding that in addition to new technologies, innovation is heavily reliant on communication between entities. Industry leaders are working together to move forward and ATSSA is no different. The association works year-round to progress and develop creative solutions for all of its initiatives including highlighting innovative products and technologies, training, and ATSSA membership.


One innovative effort ATSSA is involved in is a joint initiative with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices (AHB50). Both ATSSA and TRB sponsor and conduct an exciting design competition, the Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge, to promote innovation and stimulate ideas in the traffic control devices area with a goal to improve operations and safety.


Find recent updates on the latest innovations in the resource list below and be sure to check back for updates. 

Resources

ATSSA’s online Convention & Traffic Expo draws worldwide attendance

People who missed the eight-day event can register to watch recordings of all sessions

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ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo just wrapped up eight days filled with industry information and plentiful opportunities to interact with experts and innovators in the roadway safety industry.

The fully online event drew attendance from every state in the U.S. and Washington, D.C., plus an international contingent representing Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland, Spain and the United Kingdom. In addition, department of transportation (DOT) officials taking part represented 43 states, Washington, D.C., Canada and Spain.

People who registered for the event have until April 9 to watch all of the sessions again or see anything they missed. Anyone who was unable to attend over the past two weeks can register now to see all of the sessions, visit exhibits and earn continuing education credits. 

Panels discuss innovations and safety challenges during Convention’s first general session

Two industry awards announced as annual Convention starts its second week

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Automated vehicles will be mainstream in the next decade, members of an Innovation Panel predicted today during the first general session of ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.

Timothy Drake, vice president of public policy and regulatory affairs at ITS America, said he expected trucking fleets and public transportation would be the first to take that step and be in place in the 2030s. With that in mind, he said planning needs to take place now within jurisdictions across the country and state departments of transportation (DOTs).

Nazila Roofigari-Esfahan, an assistant professor at Virginia Tech, agreed with Drake but said she hoped it wouldn’t take place before people are ready for it. She said both infrastructure and individuals need to be prepared for that shift in transportation.

The Innovation Panel was one part of today’s general session at ATSSA’s 2021 Convention & Traffic Expo. The session kicked off with a welcome from Board Chair Greg Driskell and the State of the Association Report by ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner. That was followed by a State of the Industry panel and announcement of two industry awards.

Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation

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The Senate today confirmed former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, adding him to the cabinet of President Joe Biden.

Buttigieg campaigned on the need for transportation and infrastructure investment throughout his bid to become the Democrats’ nominee for president. During his hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee last month, he touched on the need for shoring up revenue for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), increased investment in tribal and rural roads, the future of autonomous vehicles and the need for safety to be at the forefront of any new transportation or infrastructure initiative.

The Senate Commerce Committee forwarded his nomination to the full Senate on Wednesday by a 21-3 vote.

The full Senate confirmed Buttigieg’s nomination by a vote of 86-13.

Buttigieg nomination for transportation secretary passes committee vote

UPDATE: Full Senate expected to consider the nomination Tuesday at noon.

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UPDATE Jan. 28: The full Senate is expected to consider Buttigieg's nomination Tuesday at noon. 

The Senate Commerce Committee voted 21-3 today to confirm the nomination of former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg to serve as Secretary of Transportation in the Biden administration.

The nomination now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) said he looked forward to working with Buttigieg.

ATSSA urges governors to include roadway workers in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine plan

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter today to the nation’s governors asking them to include roadway construction personnel and the manufacturers of roadway safety devices and construction machinery in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination plan as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the group deemed as essential critical infrastructure be included in Phase 1b. Frontline workers such as emergency responders and teachers are also included in this phase.

Roadway infrastructure industry personnel were deemed essential critical infrastructure workers last spring by the Department of Homeland Security. 

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