Researchers at the University of South Florida have developed a method and algorithm to detect the location of debris and unexpected objects on roads using basic safety message data and connected vehicle technology.
Roadway debris and other unexpected obstructions, such as surface damage, can lead to significant traffic delays, or worse, crashes.
Currently, unexpected roadway obstructions are handled by relying on drivers’ self-reporting (e.g., through local maintenance departments or third-party smartphone applications), which is inefficient and unsafe as it may lead to distracted driving.
In addition, pinpointing the exact debris location can be challenging and adds to delays between notifications and actual removal from the responsible transportation agency. What is needed is an efficient and safe method to detect and position debris and other unexpected obstructions and timely notify fellow travelers and authorities.
The University of South Florida inventors designed an algorithm that detects and accurately positions unwanted objects and unexpected obstructions such as debris on road segments. The algorithm runs at roadside units /municipal data centers and utilizes the kinematic information and coordinates of Connected Vehicles, which readily transmits Basic Safety Messages. The algorithm has the potential of reducing the time and money spent by highway patrols and agencies to identify and remove debris from the road, spot-fix surface problems, as well as the risk of crashes caused by drivers’ swerving behavior to avoid debris on the road. The developed technique is also applicable to foreign object debris detection and removal from airport runways, which is a topic of significant interest in aviation industry.
Congratulations to Sisinnio Concas, Ph.D., Achilleas Kourtellis, Ph.D, and Mohsen Kamrani, Ph.D.