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FHWA Home / OIPD / Accelerating Innovation / Every Day Counts / EDC News: August 24, 2022

EDC News

August 24, 2022

Innovation of the Month: Next Generation Traffic Incident Management

Technology is helping agencies around the country gain additional situational awareness of all circumstances at traffic incidents, including vehicle hazards, access to victims, and search and rescue. Complicated recovery operations and hazardous spills are often not clearly visible from typical vantage-points. What is even less clear are the impacts that incidents have on upstream traffic, traffic approaching from the opposite direction, and the larger surrounding road network.

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are being used by many police, fire and some transportation agencies across the U.S. to support traffic incident management (TIM) activities and heighten situational awareness. A newer innovation for service patrols is the use of a tethered UAS that can launch from a briefcase-sized box, fly straight up a prescribed distance (150 feet or less), and remain stationary without human intervention. Cameras on the tethered UAS send live video back to responders on the ground who can manipulate the view of the scene and surrounding area. Those images can also be shared with traffic management center (TMC) staff to help them better manage the information that is shared with the public.

A UAS tethered to a power source hovers in the air UAS is tethered to a power source and can be operated without an FAA remote pilot certificate or pilot license. (Photo Credit: NCDOT Transportation Mobility and Safety Division)

Tethered UAS can be operated without an FAA remote pilot certificate or pilot license. They can withstand weather conditions that would ground a typical UAS, and most importantly, because they are tethered to a power source, their flight is not limited by the standard 30 minutes of battery life. The platform is currently being evaluated on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (DOT) Incident Management Assistance Patrol (IMPA).

To learn more about Next Generation TIM, please contact Paul Jodoin or James Austrich, FHWA Office of Operations.

Rhode Island STEPs Up Safety at Midblock Crossings

Throughout the United States, fatalities and serious injuries are on the rise among vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists. To help address these crashes, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) developed an uncontrolled midblock crossing evaluation tool that is enabling it to address safety at more than 900 State-owned midblock crosswalks.

RIDOT used an application to streamline data collection, field visits, and to eliminate certain paperwork. The application geolocated signage, pavement markings, and the supplemental pictures of roadway elements that accompany the traditional field documentation. RIDOT also developed a dashboard to automate crash countermeasure selection for each inventoried crosswalk. Treatments included countermeasures promoted by FHWA’s Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian initiative such as rectangular rapid flashing beacons and pedestrian hybrid beacons.

RIDOT applied State Transportation Innovation Council funds toward developing the application and an FHWA Accelerated Innovation Deployment (AID) Demonstration program grant toward installing some of these enhancements.

Read more about RIDOT’s effort in FHWA’s Safety Compass newsletter. To learn more about STEP, contact Becky Crowe with the FHWA Office of Safety or Peter Eun with the FHWA Resource Center.

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Recent bulletins:

A-GaME 8/16/2022
TOPS 8/12/2022
NextGen TIM 8/11/2022
Road Weather Management 8/11/2022
Crowdsourcing 8/11/2022
Local Aid Support 8/9/2022
A-GaME 8/8/2022

About EDC

Every Day Counts, a state-based initiative of the Federal Highway Administration's Center for Accelerating Innovation, works with state, local and private sector partners to encourage the adoption of proven technologies and innovations to shorten and enhance project delivery.

EDC News is published weekly by the FHWA Center for Accelerating Innovation.

Notice: The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this presentation only because they are considered essential to the objective of the presentation. They are included for informational purposes only and are not intended to reflect a preference, approval, or endorsement of any one product or entity.

Recommended Citation:
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
EDC News; August 24, 2022
Washington, DC

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Jeffrey A. Zaharewicz
(202) 366-1325

Page last modified on August 29, 2022
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