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.


Future of roadway safety industry, automated vehicle technology discussed in ATSSA member visit

Future of roadway safety industry, automated vehicle technology discussed in ATSSA member visit

Mercer Strategic Alliance President Rob Dingess discusses AVs and the future of the industry

Rob Dingess, president of the Mercer Strategic Alliance, came to ATSSA headquarters to discuss automated and connected vehicle technology, and what it means for the association and the future of the roadway safety industry.

Dingess spoke about the levels of automation that will take place as the technology evolves, the existing technology related to connected and automated vehicles (CAVs) and automated vehicles (AVs), as well as the challenges and opportunities they provide to ATSSA and our member companies.

“We’re going to have to have the ability to communicate effectively with these new systems that are highly evolving, constantly changing, and so if you’re an ATSSA member company and you’re involved in anything related to traffic control devices, you have to ask yourself if you’re prepared for what’s coming,” said Dingess.

Several automotive companies have been working on the next wave of AV technology, and by 2025 the market for partially autonomous vehicles is expected to reach $36 billion, and the autonomous vehicles market is expected to reach $6 billion.

He spoke about how companies developing CAV and AV technology will intersect with companies that work in roadway signs, pavement markings, traffic control devices, and work zones. Dingess encourages ATSSA members to become more involved in the association’s technical committees to learn what they’re working on, and to get prepared for the future of the roadway safety industry.

“Preparation means what they’re doing about pavement markings, what are they doing about having work zones that can communicate with automated vehicle systems, what about traffic signals,” said Dingess.

Dingess highlighted how important technology and ATSSA training will be to roadway workers, who will ultimately be interfacing with this incoming technology, as they adapt to working in work zones in an automated roadway environment.

“ATSSA has never been more important to its members than it is right now. We’re in a time of disruption in the industry and our members are going to need ATSSA to help them as the industry goes through this rapid change,” said Dingess.

Learn more from a video interview of Dingess with ATSSA's Director of Innovation & New Programs Brian Watson.

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