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


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.






VTTI seeks participants for survey on how connected and automated vehicles will interact with work zones

Luke Neurauter, senior research associate in the Division of Vehicle, Driver and Safety Systems at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), is asking ATSSA members and others in the roadway safety industry to take part in a survey on the impact of connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) on work zones.

The purpose is to “better understand how CAV technologies will behave when they encounter typical work zone scenarios and what can be done (from the perspectives of both the CAVs and work zone operations) to ensure ultimate compatibility between all available technologies,” according to information from VTTI Senior Research Associate Tammy Trimble.

The goal of the "Preparing Transportation Agencies for Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAV) in Work Zones" project is to prepare transportation agencies by collecting information on CAV technologies, according to an information sheet for the survey. The research is sponsored by the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

People can take the survey online, via phone or through a virtual meeting. It is estimated to take about 45 minutes.

The survey is open through mid-August. Results will be incorporated into other project tasks, focus group discussions, a cost-benefit analysis and development of educational materials, Neurauter explained in an email to ATSSA.

Neurauter is also hoping to include input from department of transportation (DOT) personnel at the local, state and national levels, contractors, technology developers, operations centers, first responders and related groups and committees.

People interested in joining the focus group can indicate their interest at the end of the survey. Focus groups are expected to meet in the late August to early September timeframe, he said.

Paul Pisano, a transportation operations consultant based in Arlington, Va., is working with Neurauter. Pisano spent three decades with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) where he was a team leader on road weather and work zone management in the Office of Operations. Prior to that, he conducted traffic safety research for a decade, according to his LinkedIn account.


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