National study to explore automated driving systems in dynamic scenarios
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is collaborating with stakeholders in the manufacturing, infrastructure owner-operator, and public safety communities to study challenging, dynamic scenarios involving automated driving systems, such as encounters with public safety providers. The team will also address ways to facilitate communications between these systems and their supporting physical infrastructure.
The research is funded by a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation — one of two competitive federal awards that the transportation institute received in September. Additional support is provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation and cost share from the project team members.
“Virginia is proud of VTTI as the recipient of this USDOT grant,” said Virginia Director of Transportation Research and Innovation Cathy McGhee. “Our partnership in researching automated vehicles and their interaction with work zones and incident scenes is crucial in finding ways to reduce injuries and fatalities of those who work in and respond to events on our roadways. Law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, safety service patrollers, and others put their lives on the line every day to protect the public, and we must leverage this technology in ways that enhances their safety.”
The dynamic nature of public safety scenarios could prove challenging for automated driving systems, according to Mike Mollenhauer, director of VTTI’s Center for Technology Implementation. Mollenhauer is leading the project team along with Zachary Doerzaph, the director of VTTI’s Center for Advanced Automotive Research.
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