Innovation

Roadway Safety Innovation

Innovation in the roadway safety industry

Outsiders of the transportation infrastructure industry may look to autonomous vehicles as an icon of innovation on the roadways, but for state Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, manufacturers, suppliers, and contractors in the roadway safety and infrastructure industry, innovation is not a stationary achievement. It is much more than a mile marker and not as easily defined.

With different perspectives and priorities, industry stakeholders are finding that in addition to new technologies, innovation is heavily reliant on communication between entities. Industry leaders are working together to move forward and ATSSA is no different. The association works year-round to progress and develop creative solutions for all of its initiatives including highlighting innovative products and technologies, training, and ATSSA membership.


One innovative effort ATSSA is involved in is a joint initiative with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices (AHB50). Both ATSSA and TRB sponsor and conduct an exciting design competition, the Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge, to promote innovation and stimulate ideas in the traffic control devices area with a goal to improve operations and safety.


Find recent updates on the latest innovations in the resource list below and be sure to check back for updates.



Exhibit at ATSSA's Annual Traffic Expo

NPRO

Do you have an innovative roadway safety product? Exhibitors can showcase their innovations in the New Products Rollout at the Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. Products released after Jan. 1 of this year qualify for entry. Twenty will be accepted for the New Product Listing and just 12 will be accepted for presentation to a panel of judges. The top three products will earn an Innovation Award that will be announced during the Convention.


Learn more
about featuring your innovative product to key industry professionals. View videos of last year's entries and award winners.



Resources

Pam

MASH scoping study discussed during AASHTO Virtual Spring Meeting 2021

During AASHTO's 2021 Virtual Spring Meeting on Monday, the Council on Highways and Streets (CHS) gathered to provide updates from various stakeholders. The discussion included an update on the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) scoping study to determine the feasibility and potential next steps to convert MASH into a set of performance specifications.

Joyce Taylor from the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), who serves as design vice chair with AASHTO, gave an update on the MASH scoping study conducted by Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). She discussed the challenges related to current testing procedures and the gray areas within the existing manual that lead to a lack of consistency, as testing may be conducted differently by facilities.

The scoping study, conducted by TTI and sponsored by AASHTO, was completed in April. The purpose of the study was to investigate the time, cost and steps needed to convert MASH into a set of performance specifications. As a result, AASHTO is considering proceeding with the conversion of the document. The study accomplished the following tasks:

  • Revision of existing specs/test methods and recommendation of an appropriate format.
  • Tasks required to convert MASH.
  • Level of effort and timelines required for the conversion.
  • Draft final report and research problem statements for potential next steps.

 

The desired outcomes from the conversion of MASH into a set of performance specifications are to:

  • Reduce subjectivity in testing and provide clearly defined crash testing criteria
  • Revise format and organization of the document
  • Simplify instructions and increase the level of certainty in crash testing (to help manufacturers know what tests to run).

 

AASHTO's next steps are:

  • Review by AASHTO committees (TCRS, Design, Bridges, Traffic Engineering)
  • Input from industry cross section (ATSSA, Task Force 13, other industry representatives, academia, crash test facilities)

 

AASHTO anticipates providing outreach and communication over the next several months with the hopes of providing an update during AASHTO's fall meeting.

ATSSA Director of Innovation & Technical Services Eric Perry authored this post.

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