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    It's time for a fresh approach


    CSCRS has launched a new website and announced its Quick Start research projects for 2017

    Led by the UNC Highway Safety Research Center in collaboration with the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning and the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (CSCRS) unites leading transportation research, planning, public health, data science and engineering programs.

    CSCRS is an integrated national safety center focused on the goal of reducing injuries and saving lives on our roadway system. CSCRS researchers will utilize a systems framework to bring together behavioral, engineering, epidemiological, technological, and planning perspectives to:

    • Develop research-driven tools and resources that increase adoption of programs, policies, and practices that are proven to reduce crashes and prevent injuries.
    • Train a multi-disciplinary workforce that develops and implements conceptually sound, scientifically grounded programs and policies to improve travel safety
    • Anticipate and respond to future challenges and opportunities as technology becomes more fully integrated into the transportation system.

    Moving forward to meet ambitious safety targets requires a rigorous, conceptually driven and focused research agenda. CSCRS kicked off initial research activities by selecting eight Quick Start projects for year one funding.  Learn more about the current research projects

    Advanced Analytics for Vulnerable Road User Scenarios

    Principal Investigator
    Noreen McDonald
    Associate Professor & Chair; Director, Carolina Transportation Program


    Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies can dramatically improve safety by reducing human errors, which contribute substantially (an estimated 94 percent) to roadway crashes. CAVs can eventually operate effectively on roadways without experiencing decreased performance due to distraction or fatigue.

    However, technological advances will not uniformly decrease crash risks. Some environments, crash types, and user groups will continue to experience elevated risks, particularly vulnerable road users such as pedestrians.

    This project will address these critical safety issues by:

    1. Assessing the current and future landscape of pedestrian and vehicle conflicts.
    2. Identifying how vehicle technology, planning policies, and data analytics can provide systemic solutions to pedestrian-vehicle conflicts.
    3. Using big data analytics from vehicle-to-pedestrian, vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to identify dangerous pre-crash behaviors.

    The specific tasks will include literature reviews on current patterns of pedestrian-vehicle conflicts, assessment of how planning and physical design strategies can reduce pedestrian-CAV conflicts, and an analysis of time use (ATUS) and travel survey data (NHTS) to assess mobility trends. Furthermore, risk analysis will be conducted based on analysis of case studies from Ann Arbor, MI (available through Research Data Exchange) and an assessment of how automated vehicle technology will impact crash risk and potential countermeasures. The team will analyze safety data and propose a framework to link automation technology to human error/crash typologies.

    Overall, the study will apply innovative statistical, artificial intelligence, and visualization tools to extract valuable information from data, with the purpose of improving safety across modes, especially for vulnerable road users.

    Project Details

    Project Type: Research
    Project Status: Active
    End Date: 2-28-2018
    Contract Year: Year 1
    Total Funding from CSCRS: $340,000
    Co-sponsors: Tennessee Department of Transportation
    Collaborating Organizations: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; University of Tennessee, Knoxville


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