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Fall 2015 Vol. 2, No. 4

Strategic safety plan sets direction for state efforts

Speed enforced workzone

Minnesota developed its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, which identifies critical strategies for reducing serious traffic incidents, a decade ago. Since then, the state has seen a consistent downward trend in fatal crashes, said MnDOT state traffic engineer Brad Estochen during a recent Roadway Safety Institute seminar.

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Examining how drivers adapt to safety systems designed to help them

Traffic

Many technological innovations designed to increase driver safety can come with unanticipated effects—causing the driver’s behavior to change or adapt in unforeseen ways that may compromise the potential benefits of a system. Researcher Linda Ng Boyle aims to make sure the adaptive effects of vehicle safety systems are fully understood. In October, Boyle delivered a presentation on her work as part of the Institute’s seminar series.

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Helping people with visual impairment find their way

Visually impaired pedestrian using cane

Traveling alone in an unfamiliar environment can be a challenge for anyone, but especially for people who are blind or visually impaired. “In order to improve mobility, accessibility, and confidence in the transportation system, it is important to remove not only the physical barriers but also the information barriers that can impede mobility for people who are visually impaired,” says Chen-Fu Liao, a senior systems engineer who is leading research in this area.

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Researcher Spotlight: Daniel Work

Daniel Work

RSI researcher Daniel Work is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the control, estimation, and optimization of transportation systems, mobile sensing, inverse modeling, and data assimilation.

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Researcher Spotlight: Chen-Fu Liao

Chen-Fu Liao

Chen-Fu Liao is a senior systems engineer at the RSI-affiliated Minnesota Traffic Observatory, a facility of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geo- Engineering. Much of Liao’s research focuses on using intelligent transportation system technologies to help people with vision impairment.

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Seminars share perspectives on Institute research and beyond

This is the second fall that the Roadway Safety Institute offered a seminar series featuring leading safety researchers presenting on topics related to our research focus areas of high-risk road users and traffic safety systems.

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Building skills and connections through internship

Caitlin Johnson giving presentation

While some interns spend their days making copies and coffee runs, Caitlin Johnson spent her summer internship working on a research project exploring ways to improve safety in work zones.

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Institute presents at Tribes and Transportation Conference

Tribes & Transportation logo

On October 13, 2015, the Institute participated in the Minnesota Tribes and Transportation Conference in Morton, Minnesota. The theme of this year’s conference was “Technology and Innovation in Tribal Transportation.” Among the 150 attendees, nine of the eleven federally recognized tribes were represented. RSI Program Director Stephanie Malinoff and researchers Kathy Quick, Guillermo Narváez, and Tom Horan presented.

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Workshops highlight options for pedestrian safety

Pedestrian Safety workshop in session

On November 19, the Roadway Safety Institute held the first of three pedestrian safety workshops, where RSI researcher Ron Van Houten of Western Michigan University discussed innovative treatment options to improve pedestrian safety.

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Credits

Director: Max Donath
Editor: Amy Friebe
Designer: Angela Kronebusch
Writers: Christine Anderson, Megan Tsai, Lexi Gusso
Web Team: Savannah Brausen