Vision-based Sensor System for Site Monitoring: Wrong-Way Driving, Phase 1

Wrong way incident rates in the first half of 2015 appear unusually high, particularly in California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Districts 3 (Sacramento) and 11 (San Diego). There is a need to assess the magnitude of wrong way driving in California and to evaluate the efficacy of enhancements and technologies with the potential to reduce the number of instances of wrong way driving on state highways. With this in mind, Caltrans has proposed pilot projects in Districts 3 and 11 to install enhancements on several off ramps to warn drivers, and notify authorities, when vehicles enter from the wrong direction. Active monitoring systems capable of identifying wrong way drivers, transmitting information to a central location, and activating local flashing beacons will be installed in a subset of the off ramps. Existing white and yellow one-way retro-reflective pavement markers in the lane lines, channelizing lines, and gore areas will be replaced by two-way white/red (W/R) and yellow/red (Y/R) markers in all off ramps. The district pilot projects are supposed to have a mitigating effect on wrong way driver behavior, however there is a need to study and attempt to quantify the effects of the district enhancements in order to determine if similar treatments are warranted on more ramps. Division of Research, Innovation and System Information (DRISI) is working with its research contractor, The Advanced Highway Maintenance and Construction Technology Research Center (AHMCT), at the University of California at Davis, to develop and install zone-triggered video image processing systems (VIPS) at the subset of district off ramps scheduled for active monitoring system installation. These systems will also be installed on five control off ramps not receiving the district enhancements. Zone-triggered video segments will be collected and initially buffered locally for off-peak hour wireless transmission to AHMCT for subsequent off-line (non-real-time) post-processing and analysis. The researchers will then develop statistics to quantify wrong-way drivers, the effectiveness of the district enhancements, and the accuracy of the district installed active monitoring and warning systems.