Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) Senior Research Engineer Paul Carlson recently attended a workshop in McLean, VA, that focused on roadway visibility. The workshop, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), was titled “Breakthroughs in Vision and Visibility for Highway Safety” and was held August 13–14.
According to Carlson, the workshop was a good opportunity for top visibility researchers from throughout the country to share information and assist FHWA in prioritizing needs.
“On the first day there were presentations from five researchers (including Carlson) who had 30 minutes to present their research and offer suggestions to FHWA on what they should focus on in the future,” said Carlson. “On the second day there was an open discussion between leading visibility researchers where we shared ideas.”
One topic brought up during the workshop was the rapid advancement of automated/connected vehicles and how visibility research fit into the equation of a world without human drivers.
“We addressed that issue head-on,” said Carlson. “We came to an agreement that this was a technology still 20 years or so away, and that there was a need for intermediate work that could be done.”
Carlson and his peers at the workshop also focused on revising the visibility roadmap, which was a tool used in the past by FHWA to prioritize research needs. The participants also toured FHWA’s visibility research facilities and offered suggestions on how they could be best utilized.
“This workshop was a great opportunity for top researchers to offer suggestions to FHWA on how to prioritize what they should focus on in the future,” said Carlson. “It was also a great opportunity as a researcher to collaborate with peers and develop cross-cutting ideas.”