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.



Exhibit at ATSSA's Annual Traffic Expo

NPRO

Do you have an innovative roadway safety product? Exhibitors can showcase their innovations in the New Products Rollout at the Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. Products released after Jan. 1 of this year qualify for entry. Twenty will be accepted for the New Product Listing and just 12 will be accepted for presentation to a panel of judges. The top three products will earn an Innovation Award that will be announced during the Convention.


Learn more
about featuring your innovative product to key industry professionals. View videos of last year's entries and award winners.



Resources

AASHTO hosting webinars on results of study on converting MASH to performance-based spec

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The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is hosting two June webinars to review the results of a study commissioned to explore the possibility of converting the Manual on Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) 2016 to a performance-based specification.

AASHTO hired the Texas A&M Transportation Institute to do a scoping study to assess the effort, timeline and needs required if the change was undertaken. Results of the study will be presented at two webinars, which will include time for questions. Registration is now open.

MASH scoping study discussed during AASHTO Virtual Spring Meeting 2021

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During AASHTO's 2021 Virtual Spring Meeting on Monday, the Council on Highways and Streets (CHS) gathered to provide updates from various stakeholders. The discussion included an update on the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) scoping study to determine the feasibility and potential next steps to convert MASH into a set of performance specifications.

Joyce Taylor from the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), who serves as design vice chair with AASHTO, gave an update on the MASH scoping study conducted by Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). She discussed the challenges related to current testing procedures and the gray areas within the existing manual that lead to a lack of consistency, as testing may be conducted differently by facilities.

The scoping study, conducted by TTI and sponsored by AASHTO, was completed in April.

ATSSA submits 120 comments for feedback to proposed MUTCD

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ATSSA today submitted 120 comments to the Federal Register on the Proposed Rule for the National Standards for the Traffic Control Devices: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for Streets and Highways revision. 

The 23 pages of comments were compiled over the past few months and are the product of input received from ATSSA’s technical committees, MUTCD Chat Lounges during February’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Device (NCUTCD) committee meetings and other conferences attended by ATSSA. The input was produced after sorting through nearly 2,000 comments to the 700-page MUTCD. 

“A huge thank you goes out to our members for leading the charge as this was a herculean effort,” ATSSA Director of Innovation & Technical Services Eric Perry said.

Roadway Safety magazine explores CV2X for ‘smart vests’

Check out the spring issue of ATSSA’s magazine and our first ‘Convention Extra’

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The Spring issue of Roadway Safety magazine is now available with a cover story that’s apt as we observe National Work Zone Awareness Week.

We take a look at “smart vests” being developed in Virginia in a collaboration between the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Audi of America, Qualcomm and American Tower Corp.

The smart vests provide an example of the potential for lifesaving benefits of cellular vehicle-to-everything (CV2X) technology.

Our first “Convention Extra” is also available online now.

Wanted: Students with creative minds to tackle a traffic safety challenge

Traffic Control Device Student Challenge returns after pandemic pause

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ATSSA and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices invite students to compete in the 2022 Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge.

The contest returns after a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are challenged to come up with “Innovative Traffic Control Device Strategies for Speed Management on Limited Access Freeways.”

The TCD Student Challenge promotes innovation and stimulates ideas in the traffic control devices industry with a goal to improve operations and safety and encourage future generations of roadway safety professionals. As part of the challenge, individuals or student teams submit solutions in the subject area of transportation and roadway safety based on the topic for the year.

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