Development of a Roadside LiDAR-Based Situational Awareness System for Work Zone Safety: Proof-of-Concept Study

Roadway construction and maintenance has become increasingly more common as the transportation system in the United States ages and the population and traffic volume increases. This fact places more and more work zone workers in close proximity to high-speed vehicles and increases the probability of being struck. Although potential benefits were identified from work zone situational awareness or intrusion alert systems, only a few of them have been adopted due to the limitations of effectiveness, cost implications and simplicity. Therefore, developing innovative methods to reduce the number of crashes and vehicles intruding into the work-zone area are still highly desirable. The emerging 360-degree light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensing technology is a potential solution that addresses the adoption issues identified. This project will deploy lightweight portable 360° LiDAR sensors at the roadside and test their potential for providing work zone safety in terms of accuracy, efficiency, and ease of use. The objective is to develop a set of algorithms to collect and interpret real-time information of each approaching vehicle and worker (e.g., location, speed and direction) in and outside work zones using the roadside LiDAR sensing equipment. Ultimately, the outcome of this study will produce a full-scale warning system that is deployable in a real work zone environment. Such a system can detect and analyze live traffic and work zone activity, activate the appropriate warning scheme, and deliver information to roadway workers in work zones so that they can take evasive actions instead of passively relying on traditional safety countermeasures.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $234975
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Safety through Disruption University Transportation Center (Safe-D)

    Virginia Tech Transportation Institute
    Blacksburg, VA  United States  24060
  • Project Managers:

    Glenn, Eric

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI)

    400 Harvey Mitchell Parkway South
    Suite 300
    College Station, TX  United States  77845-4375
  • Principal Investigators:

    Wu, Jason

    Le, Minh

  • Start Date: 20200601
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230630
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01737735
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Safety through Disruption University Transportation Center (Safe-D)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747115
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2020 11:26PM