Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Development of a Roadside LiDAR-Based Situational Awareness System for Work Zone Safety: Proof-of-Concept Study



Roadway construction and maintenance has become increasingly more common as the transportation system in the United States ages and the population and traffic volume increases. This fact places more and more work zone workers in close proximity to high-speed vehicles and increases the probability of being stuck. Although potential benefits were identified from work zone situational awareness or intrusion alert systems, only a few of them have been adopted due to the limitations of effectiveness, cost implications and simplicity. Therefore, developing innovative methods to reduce the number of crashes and vehicles intruding into the work-zone area are still highly desirable. The emerging 360-degree light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensing technology is a potential solution that addresses the adoption issues identified. This project will deploy lightweight portable 360o LiDAR sensors at the roadside and test their potential for providing work zone safety in terms of accuracy, efficiency, and ease of use. The objective is to develop a set of algorithms to collect and interpret real-time information of each approaching vehicle and worker (e.g., location, speed and direction) in and outside work zones using the roadside LiDAR sensing equipment. Ultimately, the outcome of this study will produce a full-scale warning system that is deployable in a real work zone environment. Such a system can detect and analyze live traffic and work zone activity, activate the appropriate warning scheme, and deliver information to roadway workers in work zones so that they can take evasive actions instead of passively relying on traditional safety countermeasures.

Project Highlights

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Final Report

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EWD & T2 Products

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Research Investigators (PI*)

Jason (Dayong) Wu (TTI/TAMU)*
Minh Le (TTI/TAMU)*
Srikanth Saripalli (TTI/TAMU)
Gerald (Jerry) Ullman (TTI/TAMU)
Michael Mpwo (TTI/TAMU-Student)
Amir Darwesh (TTI/TAMU-Student)
Nanzhou Hu (TTI/TAMU-Student)

Project Information

Start Date: 2020-05-01
End Date: 2023-06-30
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $234,975
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: TTI-05-03

Safe-D Theme Areas

Big Data Analytics

Safe-D Application Areas

Vulnerable Users
Risk Assessment
Infrastructure Technology

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

Texas A&M University
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
3135 TAMU College Station, Texas 77843-3135