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

Sorting fact from fiction with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

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Thursday is poised to be a pivotal day for the roadway safety infrastructure industry with the House of Representatives expected to vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act set to expire at midnight.

Given the significance to its members, ATSSA’s Government Relations Team evaluated key concerns being raised about the IIJA’s provisions.

ATSSA’s team analyzed the IIJA ahead of the Senate's bipartisan passage of the IIJA and provided a detailed breakdown of key aspects.

Today, ATSSA provides a fact-versus-fiction analysis of issues commonly raised about the IIJA.

 

House sets date for final infrastructure vote

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The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Originally, a vote had been expected as early as today. However, on Sunday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin debate on IIJA today and then vote on Thursday.

The current surface transportation authorization is set to expire on Thursday, meaning the House must pass the infrastructure package or a short-term extension of the Fixing America’s Surface Transporation (FAST) Act, or face the Highway Trust Fund going insolvent.

ATSSA joins 100-plus groups urging House members to support infrastructure bill

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ATSSA was among 110 groups today sending a letter to all members of the House of Representatives, encouraging them to vote for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which passed the Senate in bipartisan action.

The IIJA “represents a historic opportunity to provide substantial economic and quality of life enhancements to communities across the country and to build for the future,” the letter states. “The investments made in the package would facilitate long overdue repairs and improvements to our roads, bridges, rail, and public transportation, and other critical infrastructure, such as airports, ports, broadband, energy, and water systems.”

The infrastructure bill includes a 5-year reauthorization of federal highway, public transportation and passenger rail programs, which the groups note would “ensure states and localities have much-needed funding and policy certainty to proceed with planned projects.”

Those projects are currently operating under a funding extension set to expire Sept. 30.

ATSSA surveys reveal impact of raw materials supply issues on members

Association advocates on behalf of members amid supply challenges

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Nearly 90% of ATSSA manufacturers and suppliers reported experiencing a shortage of raw materials needed to produce roadway safety products, according to an ATSSA survey this summer.

That percentage increased from 75% when those same members were surveyed in March, according to data assembled by ATSSA.

ATSSA surveyed its members after hearing that limited supplies of materials were impacting the work of the roadway safety infrastructure industry. Multiple factors were leading to the supply challenges: extreme weather in February in the Midwest and Texas, the effects of COVID-19 in the U.S. and delays in the supply line due to international shipping.

ATSSA leads effort in filing legal brief supporting reversal of FCC safety spectrum decision

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ATSSA filed a friend of the court brief in support of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Amateur Radio Emergency Data Network (AREDN), which are appealing an order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reallocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz spectrum band to unlicensed uses including WiFi.

The FCC voted unanimously on Nov. 18, 2020 to reallocate more than half of the safety band. The new rules adopted by the FCC make the lower 45 megahertz (MHz) of the spectrum available for unlicensed uses and require Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) licensees to stop using that portion of the spectrum within a year.

The FCC’s action came despite warnings from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), U.S. Department of the Treasury and multiple transportation-safety-focused organizations including ATSSA.

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