Test and Evaluate a Bluetooth Based In-Vehicle Message System to Alert Motorists in Work Zones

The vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology collects traffic data from vehicles and then provides advisory information to the vehicles that informs the drivers of safety and mobility related conditions. The safe and efficient traffic flow in a work zone is a major concern for transportation agencies. In order to reduce risky behavior around work zones, the research team has developed a prototype system to investigate the feasibility of using in-vehicle messages to increase drivers' awareness of safety-critical and pertinent work zone information. The team's previous effort focused on an inexpensive technology based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags that can be deployed in or ahead of the work zone. A smartphone app was developed to trigger non-distracting, auditory-visual messages in a smartphone mounted in a vehicle within range of the BLE work zone tags. Messages associated with BLE tags around the work zone can be updated remotely in real time and as such may provide significantly improved situational awareness about dynamic conditions at work zones, such as awareness of workers on site, changing traffic conditions, or hazards in the environment. The experiment results indicate that while travelling at 70 MPH, the smartphone app is able to successfully detect a long-range BLE tag placed over 400 feet away on a traffic barrel on a roadway shoulder. The team proposes to further refine the prototype system to be ready for deployment by, (1) incorporating the recommended in-vehicle message elements and user interface from a human factors study recently completed by the HumanFIRST Laboratory, (2) integrating a sustainable power source for deploying the BLE tag, and (3) testing the app on multiple smartphones to evaluate the automatic launch and Bluetooth scanning features. The team will then implement the refined system in a work zone and collect data to evaluate and validate system performance over a long period and under different traffic conditions.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $83841
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Center Program
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Roadway Safety Institute

    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Stearns, Amy

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Minnesota Department of Civil, Environmental and Geo-Engineering

    500 Pillsbury Drive SE
    Minneapolis, MN  United States  55455
  • Principal Investigators:

    Liao, Chen-Fu

  • Start Date: 20180226
  • Expected Completion Date: 20190531
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01664802
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Roadway Safety Institute
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC35, CTS-2018056
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Mar 28 2018 1:21PM