Two State DOTs Win USDOT Intersection Safety Awards

The Utah Department of Transportation and Texas Department of Transportation were among the winners of the U.S. Department of Transportation Intersection Safety Challenge Stage 1A.

[Above photo by USDOT]

Unveiled at the 2024 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., the winning projects of this USDOT challenge contest aim to transform roadway intersection safety via new and emerging technologies that identify and address unsafe conditions involving both vehicles and vulnerable road users or VRUs.

“The number of fatalities occurring on our roadways is unacceptable [so] we need to act swiftly on several fronts – and the USDOT Intersection Safety Challenge represents one concrete step forward towards achieving our goal of Vision Zero,” explained Dr. Robert Hampshire, USDOT deputy assistant secretary for research and chief scientist, in a statement.

“We look forward to the further development, validation, and testing of their intersection safety system concepts in the near future,” he added. 

For Stage 1A of this program, participants submitted design concepts for their proposed intersection safety systems. Altogether, USDOT said it received 120 concept papers and selected 15 for prize awards. As noted above, the Utah DOT and TxDOT each had teams among the 15 winning groups in Stage 1A.

The Utah won for a project that seeks to improve intersection safety with light detection and ranging or “LiDAR” technology, while TxDOT’s team won for its concept of using a LiDAR‐based multimodal tracking system to improve VRU safety at intersections controlled by traffic signals.

USDOT noted that each of the Stage 1A winning teams will receive a prize of $100,000 and an invitation to participate in Stage 1B, the “System Assessment and Virtual Testing” stage of the challenger, subject to final verification of each team’s eligibility status.

In Stage 1B, teams are expected to develop, train, and improve algorithms for the detection, localization, and classification of vulnerable road users and vehicles using USDOT-supplied sensor data collected at a controlled test roadway intersection.   

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