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

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.

MUTCD discussions scheduled for ATSSA’s Convention & Traffic Expo

Take part in chats on nine topics Feb. 16-18

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Join the discussion on various aspects of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) during week two of ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.

The discussions are hosted by ATSSA and take place within the Conversation Lounge of the Convention’s online platform. Check out the topics you want to be part of and join the conversation. Participation is free for everyone registered for the Convention.

Sessions run Tuesday through Thursday next week and cover nine topics.

FHWA extends comment time for MUTCD NPA

New deadline is May 14

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has extended the time for public comment to May 14 for the first comprehensive update to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) in more than a decade.

The document opened for public comment on Dec. 14 as originally reported here and was originally to allow comments through March 15.

The Notice of Proposed Amendments for the 11th edition of the MUTCD contains more than 600 proposed changes, according to a statement from the FHWA.

USDOT releases 'Automated Vehicles Comprehensive Plan'

The plan is available on the Federal Register for public comments

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The U.S. Department of Transportation this week released an “Automated Vehicles Comprehensive Plan”  (AVCP) that details a multi-pronged approach that “prioritizes safety while preparing for the future of transportation,” according to a statement announcing the plan.

“This comprehensive plan lays out a vision for the safe integration of automated vehicles into America’s transportation system while ensuring that legitimate concerns about safety, security and privacy are addressed,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in the statement.

Public comments should be made within 60 days of the posting.

FCC votes unanimously to redistribute a portion of the safety spectrum

ATSSA and other roadway safety advocates opposed changes to 5.9 GHz band

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously today to reallocate more than half of the 5.9GHz spectrum band—known as the “safety spectrum”—to unlicensed uses including WiFi.

The new rules adopted today make the lower 45 megahertz of the spectrum available for unlicensed uses. They require Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) licensees to stop using this portion of the spectrum within a year.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner called the action "a major blow to the roadway safety community and public safety in general."

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