Center for Infrastructure-Based Safety Systems

The Center for Infrastructure-Based Safety Systems (CIBSS) focuses on roadway-based safety systems, such as lighting, visibility treatments, pavement markings, signage, signals, barriers, the interaction of visibility with roadway design, and weather considerations. CIBSS is conducting research into myriad topics that include: increasing active sign legibility during foggy conditions; evaluating the effects of lighting source, type, and power on driver performance; assessing airport garage lighting; and determining the durability of pavement markings. The center contains the Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies Group, which is currently conducting an investigation into the potential use of paired types of commercially available vehicle detection technologies designed to reduce false readings at intersections that result in inefficient traffic flow. CIBSS received a large Federal Highway Administration Indefinite Quantity Contract that reflects growth in the area of infrastructure safety.

Ron Gibbons
Center Director

Airport Garage Lighting

This Airport Cooperative Research Program(ACRP)-sponsored project is designed to investigate the functionality and possible energy savings that may result from changes to airport parking garage lighting. Current lighting technologies will be considered during cost-benefit analyses of transitions to alternative airport parking garage lighting. Activities to be undertaken by VTTI include the site selection of multiple airports and field testing using a modified version of the VTTI-developed Roadway Lighting Mobile Measurement System (RLMMS). Lighting design activities will be conducted with assistance from the engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff. Cost-benefit analyses of transitions to different parking garage lighting systems will be performed with the assistance of the program management firm MCR Federal.

LED Night

The Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR) is sponsoring this assessment of light-emitting diode (LED)-based exterior luminaires. The electrical and lighting performances of LED luminaires have been tested at VTTI. Following this laboratory testing, luminaire systems will be evaluated in the field at a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Park and Ride facility using the VTTI-developed RLMMS. Both evaluations and ongoing measurements of luminaire performance during a 24-month period will be reported to the sponsor to determine what luminaires meet VDOT specifications.

Foggy Signs

This VCTIR-sponsored project is designed to investigate the performance of internally illuminated roadway signs with different color schemes and intensities to determine which configurations perform best during foggy conditions. A Smart Road study will be conducted in which participants will be asked to read aloud an alphanumeric combination displayed using each sign configuration. The distance at which a participant can correctly read the sign (i.e., the legibility distance) will be used as a measure of performance. The results of this study will provide information that can help increase active sign legibility during foggy conditions.

Wet Visibility V

Wet Visibility V is a VCTIR-sponsored project that expands the previous efforts to assess the durability of pavement markings. The retroreflectivity of test markings installed on Route 460 in Blacksburg, Virginia, will be monitored for an additional two years to assess long-term durability. The results of this study will provide information about the performance of various pavement markings during a four-year period. The results will be used by VDOT to inform its pavement-marking policies.

Adaptive Lighting

This Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)-sponsored project considers the possibility of adapting lighting systems to the needs of the driving environment. The first step is to create a causal link between the lighting system and the vehicular crash rate. Current projects connect the existence of lighting to a reduction in crashes, but there is not sufficient data to link roadway brightness to crash rate. To address this lack of data, this project considers the crash rate in six states along with performance measurements of the state lighting systems. A Bayesian analysis will then be performed to associate the lighting performance with the crash rate. Draft procedures will be developed to aid in the design of adaptive lighting systems. These procedures will also provide guidelines for how to adapt lighting systems to specific driving environments. The final step in this project is a legal review of the proposed guidelines to ensure the viability of the developed system. At present, the research team is heavily involved in the crash analysis.

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Ron Gibbons
Group Leader

The Lighting Infrastructure Technology group is conducting research into myriad topics that include: increasing active sign legibility during foggy conditions; evaluating the effects of lighting source, type, and power on driver performance; assessing airport garage lighting; and determining the durability of pavement markings.

Rajaram Bhagavathula

Senior Research Associate

Liz Catron

Research Coordinator

Eric Li

Senior Research Associate

Charlotte Lowdermilk

Project Associate

Alejandra Medina

Senior Research Associate

Bradley Myers

Senior Research Specialist

Matthew Palmer

Senior Research Associate

Travis Terry

Research Associate

Brian Williams

Research Associate

Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies

The Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies group (ETAT) is a partnership between VTTI, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC), the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS), the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, and the Virginia Tech Office of the Vice President for Research. ETAT is centered at VTTI with access to resources such as the Virginia Smart Road, VTTI researchers, and additional VTTI support staff.

Andy Alden
Group Leader

Cristian Druta

Senior Research Associate