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


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.



ATSSA & TRB announce winners of 2022 TCD Student Challenge

Michigan State University students win contest seeking speed management solutions

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Jan. 10, 2022) – The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board (TRB), announces the winners of the 2022 Traffic Control Device (TCD) Student Challenge.

Engineering students from across the U.S. competed in the TCD Student Challenge, which was titled, “Innovative Traffic Control Device Strategies for Speed Management on Limited Access Freeways.”

The team from Michigan State University received the first place award with a project entitled, “Active traffic management using combined dynamic speed limit display and speed feedback sign.” The team from Michigan State included, from left, Emma C. Hagel, team leader Nischal Gupta, Md Shakir Mahmud and Anshu Bamney. Team member Nusayba Megat Johari was not available for the photo.

The second place award went to a team from Florida International University with a project entitled, “Radar speed detection for speed management on limited access facilities.” That team included team leader John H. Kodi (pictured) and members Francisca P. Kasubi and Abdallah N. Kinero.

“It is always fun to interact with students and see their talents come together to brainstorm ways to solve real world problems,” said ATSSA Director of Innovation & Technical Services Eric Perry. “Speeding is a significant contributor to crashes in work zones that lead to fatalities, so seeing some new ideas to help solve these problems is great.”

The TCD Student Challenge is open to high school, junior college, college and university students or teams of students who have an interest in transportation and an understanding of traffic control devices. Students in relevant fields such as transportation, human factors and technology- related curricula are particularly encouraged to participate.

Entries are judged on the ability of the idea to address the problem, applicability of the idea and its transferability to various environments and roadways, and feasibility of implementation.

The two winning teams were chosen today during the TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Both teams receive a cash prize ($1,500 for first place and $1,000 for second place) and the opportunity to present their submissions to members of the roadway safety infrastructure industry at ATSSA’s 52nd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in Tampa, Florida, Feb. 11-15.

The following six teams also competed in the 2022 challenge.

Auburn University, Fangjian Yang, team leader, Han Luo, teammate, “Novel freeway terminal speed management strategy.”

Auburn University, Beijia Zhang, team leader, Qing Chang, Yukun Song and Anthony Aspito, teammates, “Speed management system to alleviate freeway bottlenecks near the weave zones.”

Oregon State University, Eileen Pei Ying Chai, team leader, Amy Wyman, Joseph Neils and Helena Breuer, teammates, “Connected speeding detection communication system.”

Penn State University, Agnimitra Sengupta, team leader, and Asif Mahmud, teammate, “Driving feedback mechanism using crash likelihood as a measure of speed management in freeway.”

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Monash University, Abdelrahman Ismael, team leader, Carlos Rivera-Gonzalez and Jennifer Rivera-Gonzalez, teammates, “Speed management as a long-term behavior change strategy.”

Westminster Schools, Evan Le, “Leverage variable speed limit signs for freeway speed management.”

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