Roadside Truck Placard Readers for Advanced Notice and Response at Safety-Critical Facilities

All trucks hauling hazardous and dangerous materials in the U.S. are required to display placards that identify the nature of the risks associated with the uncontrolled release of those materials. The configuration of these placards and their visibility provides an opportunity for their automated “reading” by camera-based computer vision systems operating at the roadside. The strategic location of these reader systems with respect to critical facilities will allow for timely communication of potential risks to facility operators and nearby emergency responders. The primary objectives of this work are to (1) assess the readiness of automated hazardous material placard readers for their reliable and effective roadside deployment, (2) Develop a conceptual plan for how automated readers would be deployed to most effectively provide advance notifications to facility operators, and (3) Work with the VDOT TRP in person to revise the deployment plan and to enable their decision as to Phase 2 feasibility.