Pavement Marking

Pavement Marking

Pavement Marking

In a report developed by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), it was recommended that the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) establish plans to “better manage” initiatives and efforts related to Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs). GAO officials state within the report, which was released in November 2017, that their reasoning behind the research efforts are based on the potential promise of CAVs to provide transformative safety and mobility benefits, but these benefits also will come with a set of safety and infrastructure challenges for policymakers.


While it also was noted that other components such as urban versus rural settings and local ownership of roadways will play a hand in infrastructure adaptations, many experts in automation and infrastructure back up the report’s claims, and assert that consistent and proper maintenance of the current roadway system is of the upmost importance for conventional and AV motorists — especially when it comes to pavement markings.


ATSSA has a dedicated group of members on its Pavement Marking Committee (member login required), who are working to assert the proper maintenance of pavement marking and advance technologies being developed to help increase safety benefits and accommodation of CAVs. The committee has developed a list of policies and continues to work toward advancing the collaboration between the roadway safety industry and automakers as America progresses toward an automated future.

Resources

ATSSA reports from ITS World Congress 2017 Montréal
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ATSSA reports from ITS World Congress 2017 Montréal

New system attempts to monitor physical infrastructure, specifically work zones, into dynamic digital maps

By ATSSA Director of New Programs, Brian Watson

While attending the ITS World Congress 2017 Montréal I had the privilege of attending a few sessions focusing on using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to make work zones safer, and integrating agency data into mobile applications. These two important topics tackle the issues of handling the dynamics of the ever-changing work zone. As we’ve been told, Connected Automated Vehicles (CAVs) are going to make our roadways safer by connecting every aspect of the roadways to the vehicle and or driver. The issue is, how do we account for work zones that aren’t connected, are located in rural areas, or not reported to the traffic management center? Waze believes they have a solution, albeit a temporary one, to bridge these gaps in communication.


Waze’s Connected Citizens Program (CCP), a free two-way data exchange is a promising data sharing program that could have valuable uses for work zone safety. The program is an upgrade from the 511 technology states have used; the data transmission is so efficient that incidents are reported and disseminated faster than traditional 911 calls.


The CCP attempts to tackle data sharing from a few different angles including working directly with departments of transportation, and by crowdsourcing data from everyday drivers. Adam Fries from Google/WAZE said they are accounting for unreported work zones by relying on transportation departments to share traffic plan information and utilizing WAZE users and field specialists to send in reports. He said they use a reliability scale based on previous reporting for user reports to determine whether the information is correct and they are beginning to work with departments to obtain information about work zones and road closures.


In my opinion, this system is not the final solution in accounting for unreported work zones, but at least it is attempting to address the issue with “off the grid” work zones and lane closures. Crowd sourcing traffic information is a novel approach, but WAZE’s goal is to integrate their technology into every state department’s transportation plans. This free data sharing effort could significantly improve how work zones are reported and added to your navigation maps. The next step must be to integrate this information into all navigation providers to ensure everyone has the most up-to-date news on traffic incidents.


Read Watson’s full report on work zone detection technology in the January/February issue of The Signal.

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