TRAFFIC SIGNS: Virginia Tech project bringing traffic signage inside

In-car system being tested would tell drivers to stop or yield based on current traffic

August 06, 2014

Researchers at Virginia Tech recently completed a 17-week test of new connected-vehicle technology that would determine if drivers should stop or yield at an intersection based on current traffic levels. Though still in the proof-of-concept stage, the technology could eventually reduce the need for roadside ‘STOP’ and ‘YIELD’ signage.

As described by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the technology centers around a GPS-style display on the dashboard. As the vehicle approaches an intersection, the display flashes either a ‘STOP’ or ‘YIELD’ image if other vehicles are detected on-approach. If no other vehicles are detected, the driver will be able to proceed without stopping or yielding.

The proof-of-concept adaptive study was conducted on the Virginia Smart Road, a private research test-bed owned and operated by the Virginia DOT. VTTI researchers chose several dozen participants between ages 18 and 25 and over 50, providing vehicles pre-equipped with the new system; other vehicles were driven by VTTI staff. Participants’ reactions were filmed through in-vehicle cameras, monitoring line-of-sight and upper-body position among other factors. VTTI also created scenarios where the technology was allowed to fail, allowing them to gauge driver decision-making.

According to researchers, the hope is to eliminate the need for vehicles to make unnecessary stops, which is ultimately a waste of fuel.

Presently, research is focused on non-signalized intersections. No mention has been made of eventually including signalized intersections in the study.

Related Articles

Tennessee DOT breaks ground on S.R. 317 Apison Pike improvement project
Map of planned improvements for S.R. 317 (Apison Pike) from S.R. 321 (Ooltewah Ringgold Road) to east of Layton Lane. Image: Tennessee DOT
Tennessee DOT (TDOT) Commissioner Clay Bright joined federal, state, and local officials on Friday to officially break ground on the S.R. 317 (Apison…
March 18, 2020
road safety variable message sign
Image: Vlad Lazarenko [CCA-3.0] via Wikimedia Commons
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the installation of an additional 300 electronic message boards and traffic cameras along major traffic…
December 02, 2019
Two undergraduate students at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) used a driving simulator to help a civil engineering firm…
May 15, 2019
As the peak summer travel season approaches, the Maine DOT and Maine Turnpike Authority are working to help members of the traveling public make good…
April 18, 2019