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Yousuf M.,FHWAs Office of Operations Research and Development | Fitzgerald M.,FHWAs Office of Corporate Research
Public Roads | Year: 2012

Research in accessible transportation has gained momentum in recent years as result of Federal initiatives. In July 2010, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the White House partnered with the Federal Communications Commission and the US Department of Commerce to facilitate a discussion among technologists and disability advocates about innovative uses of the Internet to improve accessibility. On February 23, 2011, FHWA conducted a workshop to examine technological innovations in accessible transportation and better understand the requirements of pedestrians and travelers with visual impairment or other disabilities. More than one billion people worldwide live with a disability, according to the World Report on Disability, published in 2011 by the World Health Organization and World Bank. Obtaining social computing systems by crowd-sourcing from a large group of people, especially online, can benefit public transit riders, including senior citizens and those with disabilities. Source


Alfelor R.M.,Transportation Research Boards TRB Committee on Surface Transportation Weather | Yang C.Y.D.,FHWAs Office of Operations Research and Development
Public Roads | Year: 2011

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is working with transportation and meteorological experts to design strategies to minimize crashes and delays due to storms and harsh atmospheric conditions. FHWA recently conducted research to identify relevant datasets, including domestic and international sources, and analyzed the gaps between research needs and data availability. FHWA established the seeds of the Road Weather Management Program more than a decade ago to research, develop, and deploy strategies and tools to help road managers respond more effectively to inclement weather. The FHWA Road Weather Management Program continues to review current practices, document the benefits of existing approaches, and identify needs, such as strategies applicable for use on arterials and freeways. Another area for expanding use of weather data is in traffic estimation and prediction. Researchers with FHWA's Road Weather Management Program recently incorporated weather factors into existing Traffic Estimation and Prediction Systems (TrEPS). Source


Gibson D.R.P.,FHWAs Office of Operations Research and Development | Boudreau N.,MassDOT | Ling B.,Migma Systems Inc.
Public Roads | Year: 2013

FHWA focused on the visually impaired during a recent large-scale field test of a new stereo vision system for detecting pedestrians at street crossings. In an effort to demonstrate to traffic engineers that it is operationally safe to install pedestrian sensors to eliminate these problems, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted a large-scale field test of a stereo vision system for detecting pedestrians at signal-controlled intersections. Stereo vision, also called stereopsis and binocular vision, uses two views of a scene viewed with two cameras to compare slightly different pixel images to extract information that can be used to calculate depth. The FHWA contractor, in cooperation with the local departments of transportation (DOT), selected test sites where a number of pedestrian fatalities had occurred in recent years. The sites selected were ones that are used by a significant number of pedestrians daily, especially pedestrians who are visually impaired. Source


Gibson D.R.P.,FHWAs Office of Operations Research and Development
Public Roads | Year: 2010

A multi-instrument sensor that includes an infrared visible light stereo camera, an infrared thermal camera, and an acoustic sensor, has been designed to detect cyclists at intersections. Further still, per vehicle miles traveled (VMT), NHTSA estimates that motorcyclists are now about 34 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash. But these estimates are highly dependent on the accuracy of VMT estimates for motorcycles, which is challenging to determine using existing traffic sensors. Detection and classification technologies improve safety by enabling signal control systems to lengthen signal times for slower moving traffic, and shorten signal times for faster moving motorcycles and automobiles. When applying the pedestrian disparity technique to detecting cyclists, the researchers needed to address the difference in speed between pedestrians and cyclists, and the need to capture two consecutive frames of the same object in relatively the same location. Source


Lochrane T.W.P.,FHWAs Office of Operations Research and Development | Al-Deek H.,University of Central Florida | Paracha J.,FHWAs Office of Operations Research and Development | Scriba T.,FHWAs Office of Operations Research and Development
Public Roads | Year: 2013

Researchers are working on micro simulation modeling to improve mobility and reduce congestion. As the Nation's highways continue to carry increasing numbers of travelers, State and local departments of transportation (DOT) face the growing challenge of minimizing the impacts of work zones on traffic congestion. Part of the solution involves improving the management and operation of highways. DOTs have a number of strategies at their disposal to reduce delay: incident management, ramp metering, coordination of signals on arterial streets, access management on arterials, and use of high-occupancy vehicle lanes. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) estimates that nearly half of nonrecurring congestion is caused by temporary disruptions such as incidents, work zones, or inclement weather. Work zones in particular cause about 24 percent of nonrecurring congestion and 10 percent of all congestion. As such, work zones affect the overall mobility of a highway, having a reach that extends well beyond the limits of the construction area. Source

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