Technology to Ensure Equitable Access to Automated Vehicles for Rural Areas

A significant majority of the state of the art autonomous sensing and navigation technologies rely on good lane markings or detailed 3D maps of the environment and are more suited for urban communities. On the other hand, a large number of rural roads in the U.S. do not have lane markings and have irregular boundaries. These challenges are common to many small and rural communities (SRCs), defined as an incorporated city, town, or village with a population of less than 50,000. As of 2019, there are 18,723 SRCs in the US [1,2]; these communities are sparsely connected and cover huge areas. The objective of this project is to develop an efficient sensing and navigation system for SRCs that use crowdsourced topological maps such as the Open Street Map (OSM) [3] that provides high-level road network information in concert with onboard sensing systems that include LIDAR and cameras to localize and navigate an autonomous vehicle. The system will be tested and validated on a large number of rural roads in the SRCs around College Station, TX.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $240371
  • 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:

    Rathinam, Sivakumar

  • Start Date: 20210901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01779826
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Safety through Disruption University Transportation Center (Safe-D)
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747115
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 25 2021 11:45PM