A Smart IoT Proximity Alert System for Highway Work Zone Safety

U.S. construction sites, particularly within MUTCD 2009-defined work zones, present substantial safety challenges. In 2020, the construction industry accounted for 21.2% of fatal injuries, with struck-by accidents constituting 40% of fatalities. Visibility issues that contribute most to construction fatalities highlight the need for improved safety practices. The dynamic nature of construction projects, involving heavy equipment and workers, intensifies safety hazards. Traditional safety measures, relying on historical data, hinder the transition to real-time information due to monitoring challenges. This project developed a proximity-sensing alert system, including a wearable Personal Protection Unit (PPU) for pedestrian workers and an Equipment Protection Unit (EPU) for equipment operators. Prototyping was aimed at reducing PPU size, extending battery life, and establishing wireless communication. A cloud server system aggregated incident data for remote safety monitoring. The system was validated at active highway construction sites in collaboration with Georgia DOT and construction companies. Outdoor trials validated the system's functionalities, revealing reliable proximity sensing with a 2.2-second reaction time and the impact of obstructions on alert frequencies. The system's reliability in hazardous proximity situations positions it for industry beta testing and commercialization, marking a significant milestone in advancing construction safety practices. The final report is available.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-30, IDEA 226

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Principal Investigators:

    Cho, Yong

  • Start Date: 20210101
  • Expected Completion Date: 20240115
  • Actual Completion Date: 20240115

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01757154
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-30, IDEA 226
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 4 2020 10:55AM