New Report Finds Trends in Roadway Sensing Technologies; Examines Applications for Safety, Traffic Management and Vehicle Crash Avoidance

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New Report Finds Trends in
Roadway Sensing Technologies; Examines Applications for Safety, Traffic Management and Vehicle Crash Avoidance

Upcoming Webinar with Dr. Kay Stepper to discuss report highlights

Washington, D.C. (August 14, 2013) – A new report released today by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) analyzes the merits and limits of active sensing technologies – such as radar, LIDAR, and ultrasonic detectors – and how the market for these technologies is evolving and being applied to vehicles and highway infrastructure to improve traffic safety and prevent crashes.

As the costs of electronic braking, steering, and other control systems fall over the next decade, nearly all newly manufactured cars will likely be built with radar or some other active sensing capability to support automated crash avoidance, according to the report.

One of the most likely early ‘wins’ will be the adoption of ‘forward crash prevention’ systems, according to Steven Bayless, ITS America’s Senior Director for Telecommunications and Telematics and chief author of the report.  “As we move toward more connected vehicle technologies, forward crash warnings provide an early application that can reduce the more than 900,000 rear-end collisions that occur on America’s roads each year,” he said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that the economic damage from these 900,000-plus annual “rear-end” crashes totals more than $15 billion.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)-sponsored report – Connected Vehicle Insights:  Trends in Roadway Domain Active Sensing – also finds that while active sensing systems such as radar and LIDAR are ideal for measuring vehicle presence, speed, and traffic flow, such systems cannot receive messages or “warnings” from vehicles, pedestrians, or traffic control devices needed to prevent many crashes.

As a result, long-term investment will be needed in connected vehicle technologies that provide active, real-time safety warnings to help drivers avoid crashes, while also enabling Active Traffic Management applications to reduce traffic congestion and provide drivers with more accurate travel information.

While infrastructure-based radar has been around for decades to support speed enforcement and traffic flow, the report also found that new applications like intersection collision avoidance and highway speed harmonization may increase the use of radar and other active sensors to improve safety and traffic flow.

In addition, growing traffic congestion may propel automakers toward introducing more semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicle features. “Americans spend 5.5 billion hours in traffic every year, nearly an entire work week per commuter,” said Bayless. “The incentives are greater now than ever to improve the combined performance, reliability, safety and cost of driving through vehicle-based sensing technologies, autonomous vehicle features, and ultimately through a fully integrated, connected vehicle network.”

Download the report here.

ITS America will present an overview and major findings from the report in a webinar in early September, entitled, “Active Sensing Technologies.” This webinar is a part of a series is sponsored by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS-JPO) and Dr. Kay Stepper; Director of Engineering for Driver Assistance Systems for the Chassis Systems Control division, Bosch, North America will be the presenter. Webinars last one hour and are free and open for anyone to participate.

For more information and to register for this webinar, visit:

About ITS America’s Connected Vehicle Technology Scan Series:
This report and its associated webinar are part of the Technology Scan and Assessment project, which is a multi-year study that ITS America is conducting under sponsorship and guidance from the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office in the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The Technology Scan and Assessment project tracks trends, technologies, and innovations that are outside the domain of mainstream transportation research but could influence intelligent transportation systems.

All reports speculate on the future impact of a given new technology to the transportation sector in general, and specifically to a future Vehicle-to-Vehicle, Vehicle-to-Device, Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2X) core system relying on vehicle Dedicated Short-Range Communications, as envisioned in USDOT's Connected Vehicle Research and Development program.

To learn more about the Technology Scan and Assessment, visit our Web page or download the U.S. DOT Technology Scan Fact Sheet.


The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to advancing the research, development and deployment of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) to improve the nation’s surface transportation network.

To learn more about ITS America visit and follow us on Twitter @ITS_America

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