Presenters: Dr. Michael Mollenhauer, Dr. Nazila Roofigari-Esfahan, & Jean Paul Talledo Vilela
Roadside work zones (WZs) present imminent safety hazards for roadway workers as well as passing motorists. In 2016, 764 fatalities occurred in work zones in the United States due to motor vehicle traffic crashes. A number of factors (aging highway infrastructure, increased road work, increased levels of traffic and more nighttime WZs) have led to an increase in WZ crashes in the past few years. Consequently, WZs are becoming increasingly dangerous for workers as well as passing motorists. The standard work zone safety signage and personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by workers at roadside WZs have not been completely effective in controlling work zone crashes.
This project was an effort in addressing this problem through designing a wearable device to accurately localize, monitor, and predict potential collisions between WZ actors based on their movements and activities, and communicate potential collisions to workers, passing drivers, and connected and automated vehicles (CAVs). The project developed a prototype of a wearable worker localization and communication device (i.e., Smart Vest) that utilizes the previously developed Threat Detection Algorithm (Safe-D project 03-050) to communicate workers’ locations to passing CAVs and proactively warn workers and passing motorists of potential collisions. The research successfully completed project objectives and developed a working prototype of a smart vest. The product was evaluated through multiple field experiments, to assess the capability of the vest in accurately localize workers and detect proximity hazards. As a result, this research is expected to significantly improve the safety conditions of roadside WZs through prompt detection and communication of hazardous situations to workers and drivers.
For more information about the Project or Safe-D visit the link below: