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

Will Connected and Autonomous Vehicles change the landscape of signage standardization?

Will Connected and Autonomous Vehicles change the landscape of signage standardization?

By ATSSA Director of New Programs Brian Watson

On June 19, 2019 at the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Task Force Meeting, updates on signage and pavement marking uniformity were the main topics of discussion. With CAVs entering U.S. roadways every day, the need for uniformity is growing exponentially. Transformational technologies on CAVs raise new questions for groups like the NCUTCD, such as signage that appears on the exterior of CAVs. For instance, many CAV manufacturers have their own signage displays on the exterior of the vehicle that alert human drivers and pedestrians of the CAV’s intentions on the roadway.

The signs aren’t just telling others what the vehicle is doing, it is telling others how to behave, such as pedestrians at a crosswalk. The exterior vehicle signage acts as a traffic control device in these instances. On-vehicle signage notifies the individuals entering the crosswalk that crossing the street is safe. According to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), “The MUTCD is incorporated in regulations, approved by the FHWA, and recognized as the national standard for traffic control devices used on all streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel.”

The question the NCUTCD is trying to answer is whether these signs should be standardized under the MUTCD. Many auto manufacturers are placing patents on their own exterior vehicle signs which may cause confusion for human drivers and other vulnerable road users due to lack of consistency between the various sign messages among auto manufacturers. To see a video example of signage on CAVs, view a video from drive.ai. This, and topics such as these are the hot discussion points at this year’s meeting; so much so that an additional an task force has been created that will look into signage and CAVs. The group held their first meeting on June 18. For more information on the NCUTCD or infrastructure standards, visit ncutcd.org.

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