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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-18-035    Date:  September 2018
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-18-035
Date: September 2018


Infrastructure Initiatives to Apply Connected- and Automated-Vehicle Technology to Roadway Departures

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The overall goal of the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Roadway Departure (RwD) Program is to improve the safety of the Nation’s highways through the reduction of RwD crashes. RwDs continue to account for more than half of U.S. roadway fatalities annually and nearly 40 percent of serious injuries, making such crashes a significant safety concern.

Connected vehicles and automated vehicles are complementary technologies with the potential to improve safety. The purpose of this research is to explore the role of highway infrastructure in enabling these technologies to reduce the number and severity of RwD crashes. This report identifies initiatives for FHWA and its State partners to consider and investigates how infrastructure may need to be adjusted to accommodate these technologies. This report includes a literature review on RwD crashes and conventional countermeasures. A series of Web meetings with interested stakeholders examined the gap between the state of the art of these technologies and their ultimate effective deployments. This document is intended for traffic engineers, highway designers and planners, and other transportation professionals to acquaint themselves with potential infrastructure changes that could accommodate these emerging vehicle technologies.

James S. Pol, P.E., PMP
Acting Director, Office of Safety
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.


Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.


2. Government Accession No.


3 Recipient's Catalog No.


4. Title and Subtitle

Infrastructure Initiatives to Apply Connected- and Automated-Vehicle Technology to Roadway Departures

5. Report Date

September 2018

6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s)

Doug Pape (ORCID: 0000-0002-1557-5881) and Filmon Habtemichael (ORCID: 0000-0002-8837-0959)

8. Performing Organization Report No.


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

505 King Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)


11. Contract or Grant No.

Order No. 0001

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
Office of Safety Research and Development
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report; September 2016–
November 2017

14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

This report was reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration Government Task Manager Abdul Zineddin (HRDS-10).

16. Abstract

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is investigating how emerging connected-vehicle (CV) and automated-vehicle (AV) technologies can address roadway-departure (RwD) crashes. The objective of this project was to develop a framework for FHWA regarding how the infrastructure components need to change to accommodate CV and AV technologies to help reduce the frequency and severity of RwD crashes. The project produced a list of initiatives that FHWA may use to support the deployments of CV and AV technologies in ways that will address RwD crashes. The initiatives were developed from a literature review and consultation with technology developers, vehicle manufacturers, State and local departments of transportation, infrastructure officials, and other stakeholders.

17. Key Words

Roadway departure, connected vehicles, automated vehicles

18. Distribution Statement

No restrictions. This document is available to the public though the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161. http://www.ntis.gov

19. Security Classification
(of this report)


20. Security Classification
(of this page)


21. No. of Pages


22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized




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Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center | 6300 Georgetown Pike | McLean, VA | 22101