Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Development and Demonstration of a Cost Effective In-Vehicle Lane Departure and Advanced Curve Speed Warning System

Status:  Active
Project Start Date:  05/03/2016


Lane departure (run-off-road) crashes represent half of all fatal crashes on Minnesota roads. One significant factor frequently linked to these crashes is the presence of horizontal curves in the roadway. Infrastructure-based warnings are effective in reducing crashes, but are cost prohibitive on roads with low AADTs (even those with known risk factors). Moreover, drivers are known to disregard curve advisory speeds, which are commonly set at conservative levels. The proposed project would develop in-vehicle warnings, which could be deployed on a smartphone, to alert drivers ahead of curves that are deemed high risk. A goal of the study would determine how to appropriately capture the attention of potentially distracted drivers and reduce the speed of drivers approaching at dangerous speeds. Another priority would be to determine the distances ahead of the curves at which the warnings should be deployed to provide sufficient, but not preemptive, notice to allow drivers to safely reduce speeds. The study would incorporate naturalistic driving behavior data collected on rural Minnesota roads with known hazardous curves. This would provide information about the speed at which drivers tend to travel through curves and help identify the thresholds at which a warning may need to be displayed. The work would compliment other on-going work in Minnesota to develop a cloud-based Vehicle-to-Infrastructure repository of pertinent roadway information (e.g. work zone notifications and warnings), which could be communicated to drivers via their smartphones.

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