Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

A Holistic Work Zone Safety Alert System through Automated Video and Smartphone Sensor Data Analysis


This project was inspired by a major gap identified in the literature pertaining to work zone safety monitoring systems that leverage advanced technologies for tracking workers, identifying hazardous situations, and alerting workers of danger. Existing systems target safety hazards that are either external to the work zone (e.g., accidents due to vehicular intrusions) or workers’ internal physical/physiological states (e.g., human-factor ergonomics such as improper or prolonged use of vibrating hand tools). This project presents a holistic approach in which visual and wearable sensor data are used for safety monitoring and alert generation to offer a practical mitigation strategy for both external and internal safety risks. With a major focus on the feasibility of adoption and facilitating maintenance, smartphones were used in this project to provide a ubiquitous platform for data collection and communication. A mobile application was developed to generate an alert when unsafe vibration levels were reached in proximity to a high-vibration power tool such as a jackhammer. Additionally, visual data collected from surveillance cameras were analyzed to detect speeding vehicles approaching the work zone. In either of these situations, a worker with the application running on their smartphone would be alerted of the internal or external safety hazard.

Project Highlights

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Final Report

05-089 Final Report

EWD & T2 Products

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Research Investigators (PI*)

Reza Akhavian (SDSU)*
Arash Jahangiri (SDSU)*

Project Information

Start Date: 2020-01-11
End Date: 2022-09-01
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $150,000
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 05-089

Safe-D Theme Areas

Connected Vehicles
Big Data Analytics

Safe-D Application Areas

Infrastructure Technology
Planning for Safety
Risk Assessment

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Dr
San Diego, CA 92182