Zac Doerzaph | email@example.com
VTTI's automated driving systems research program is designed to evaluate and enhance the design of safe and high-quality automated driving systems, as well as the infrastructure in which they will operate. Their research emphasizes the importance of safety and usability and applies human factors methods, traditional engineering analyses, and data analytics to support the needs of automobile manufacturers, suppliers, technology companies, and public agencies.
Myra Blanco | firstname.lastname@example.org
Our researchers facilitate several outreach programs in order to educate the public on the importance of roadway safety. Some of these include:
Parent-Teen Driving Agreement:
VTTI researchers developed a parent/teen driving agreement as part of the Ford Driving Skills for Life program. This agreement is adapted from the Checkpoints Program developed by Bruce-Simons Morton at the National Institute of Child Health Development. Consider using this agreement when your teen starts to drive independently.
Driving Healthy: The goal of Driving Healthy is to provide commercial motor vehicle drivers with health and wellness information targeted towards their unique needs.
Tips for Sharing the Road with Commercial Motor Vehicles:
Over three-quarters of crashes and near-crashes involving heavy vehicles are caused by car drivers. This may be indicative of inadequacies in driver education and training programs related to safely sharing the road with heavy vehicles. The Tips for Sharing the Road with Commercial Motor Vehicles website was designed to cover five key sharing-the-road scenarios using video clips of real-world driving events captured during one of VTTI’s naturalistic driving studies.
WTS International at Virginia Tech:
The Virginia Tech Chapter of WTS International seeks opportunities to link young professionals with leaders in the transportation sector for mentorship, access, and networking.
Mike Mollenhauer | email@example.com
Our connected vehicle researchers study a broad set of challenges associated with integrating cutting-edge technologies into the vehicles of tomorrow, working cooperatively with their industry and governmental partners to solve complex transportation problems through technology advancement. Some primary research areas include crash warning/avoidance/mitigation, connected vehicle systems, driver-vehicle interfaces, crash causation, and vehicle automation.
Warren Hardy | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Center for Injury Biomechanics (CIB) is an interdisciplinary research center formed through a partnership between the Virginia Tech College of Engineering and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. The CIB is part of the Virginia Tech - Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES) joint graduate program and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).
The CIB investigates injury mechanisms to develop a greater understanding of human tolerance to injury to engineer enhanced safety countermeasures and to mitigate the occurrence of serious injury in society. A multidisciplinary approach combining biomedical and engineering expertise is used to address real-world trauma concerns. Applications of this research are far-reaching and include transportation safety, military protection, and sports biomechanics. The CIB studies field data, and employs and develops physical and computational human surrogates to develop safer user environments. Multiscale, multimodal research is conducted into the impact and injury responses associated with restraint system interaction and protective equipment use. Tests are conducted to examine responses from the cellular level to the whole-body level, such as those which might be experienced during a vehicle crash.
Jon Hankey | email@example.com
VTTI pioneered the use of the naturalistic driving study research method. Using data acquisition systems developed in house, VTTI researchers are able to gather continuous video and driving performance data in real-world driving conditions. To date, more than 4,000 instrumented vehicles have been deployed nationally and internationally, resulting in more than 70 million miles of continuous naturalistic driving data.
Luke Neurauter | firstname.lastname@example.org
As the adoption of electric vehicles increases, VTTI is investigating ways to improve upon concerns regarding pedestrian detectability due to the lack of traditional engine noise. For instance, a recent study explored the probability of detection of electric vehicles with and without additive sounds and was selected to appear on the cover of the January 2021 issue of The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. On-going research is investigating ways to improve alternate methods for sound dispersion, as well as developing candidate sounds that account for both detectability and noise pollution concerns, while still meeting existing regulatory requirements. VTTI researchers are also studying the advantages of electric vehicles from an efficiency standpoint. A recent report published by the Transportation Research Board studied the potential benefits of an eco look-ahead control for battery electric vehicles and found a significant reduction in energy consumption on downhill roads compared with internal combustion engine vehicles.
Kevin Kefauver | email@example.com
The Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation (GCAPS) is an affiliated company of Virginia Tech that is revolutionizing the automotive industry. GCAPS provides advanced tire research, vehicle simulation, and mathematical modeling for virtual vehicle technology development. The center also performs simulations to support the development of algorithms, evaluation methods, and virtual frameworks for automated driving systems technologies. GCAPS has a global customer base and is engaged with mobility thought leaders, including vehicle manufacturers, technology companies, tire manufactures, and motorsport teams.
Zeb Bowden | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Virginia Smart Roads are state-of-the-art, closed test tracks managed by VTTI in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). With more than five miles of roadbed, these research facilities feature weather-making and lighting capabilities, advanced sensors, traffic intersections, and varying pavement types, enabling VTTI to conduct vehicle evaluations and driver safety testing for its partners in a secure location. Collectively, the Virginia Smart Roads enable advanced-vehicle testing within a linked and comprehensive road system, including highway, surface, rural, and unimproved roadways.
Learn more and explore our test beds virtually.
Charlie Klauer | email@example.com
VTTI conducts research and outreach designed to enhance safety for all vulnerable road users, including senior and teen drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Vulnerable road users comprise all age groups and a variety of demographics; their one shared trait is an increased risk of suffering a traffic-related crash or injury. The Institute also has subdivisions for teen risk and injury prevention research, as well as a center for senior mobility awareness, safety, and health. Our vulnerable road safety researchers also manage several outreach initiatives designed to provide recommendations for coordinating public and private services for the aged, disabled, and indigent populations.
Michelle Chaka | firstname.lastname@example.org
VTTI's Automated Mobility Partnership (AMP) Program has brought together 13 industry leaders to promote the development of tools, techniques, and data resources to support the rapid advancement of automated driving systems (ADSs) deployment. AMP provides members with access to a variety of real-world driving data and a suite of support tools focused on the development and evaluation of automated driving technologies. Using a library of crashes, near-crashes, and driving cases, the program allows users to discover purposefully designed routine and extreme automated driving cases, interactive analytics to describe the frequency of these cases and the distribution of measures within cases, and reconstruct driving cases in simulation-ready datasets to support multi-tool platform.
The AMP research model is partner driven (defined by members), rapid cycle (quarterly deliverables), and high influence (impactful deliverables, empowering members).
Andrew Krum | email@example.com
Transit bus operators may be at risk of exposure to passengers with COVID-19. These drivers, who provide an essential transportation service, face several viral exposure threats, including limited space between the operator and passengers during boarding, the need to assist passengers with ADA securement, and general air exchange hazards. To address this, VTTI researchers are studying engineering control methods that could reduce bus operators’ exposure to the presence of COVID-19 in airborne droplets and particles, as well as maximize the air quality.
Tammy Trimble | firstname.lastname@example.org
Every year, first responders address millions of roadway incidents to protect people, investigate crashes, and save lives. In the future, how will automated driving systems impact their operations and communication protocols?
Research by VTTI and the Consortium of Automotive Manufacturers organized through the Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership, LLC (CAMP) helped inform the scenarios and interaction types referenced for the SAE International’s best practices.
The Safe Operating ADS in Challenging Dynamic Scenarios project is a collaboration between the public and private sectors aimed at identifying challenging scenarios involving automated driving systems and public services personnel such as first responders. The project is developing and demonstrating technological solutions to these challenges culminating in a demonstration and associated reference data to accelerate the safe deployment of ADS.
Last year, the institute received two $7.5 million grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance automated driving system research. The Automated Driving System Demonstration Grants program provides federal funding to projects that test methods for safely incorporating automated driving systems on U.S. roads. Of the 73 proposals submitted by agencies nationwide, VTTI was the only organization to receive two awards, which will support the following projects:
Trucking Fleet CONOPS for Managing Mixed Fleets
Safely Operating ADS in Challenging Dynamic Scenarios: An Optimized Automated Driving Corridor Demonstration
VTTI research has made an impact nationwide and worldwide. Examples include:
Second Strategic Highway Research Program Naturalistic Driving Study (SHRP 2): VTTI and partners worked with a team of in-house data reductionists to analyze data from the SHRP 2 NDS. The SHRP 2 NDS is the largest study of its kind and marks the largest contract awarded by the National Academy of Sciences. The study data comprise more than 2 petabytes of continuous naturalistic driving data collected from more than 3,300 instrumented vehicles and more than 3,500 participants across six U.S. locations.
Next-Generation Vehicle Technology: To date, the institute has conducted more than $30 million in connected-vehicle research and facility development and helped create federally funded human factors guidelines for the operation of connected vehicles.
Mobility and Infrastructure: The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and VTTI launched an accelerated pavement testing program, which uses a heavy-vehicle simulator that continuously applies a weighted load to test pavements for several months. This testing simulates the natural wear and tear caused by heavy trucks on road surfaces. The program is expected to result in cost savings in road maintenance and will enable VDOT to determine how different pavement designs and materials respond to load testing prior to integration on the road.
Learn more about our impact.
Mike Mollenhauer | email@example.com
Since 2012, VTTI has been working in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to develop, test, and demonstrate connected vehicle-based solutions to improve roadside work zone safety. Recently, VTTI researchers have been developing a Work Zone Builder application that will facilitate the design and digitization of roadside work zones for consumption by connected and automated vehicles. This application will utilize the Virginia Work Area Protection Manual to automatically apply work zone safety standards to new work zones.
VTTI also delivered its first prototype of an Automated Truck Mounted Attenuator (ATMA) work zone safety vehicle that operates in a leader-follower mode behind a human operated lead vehicle. The project was co-funded by Transurban, LLC, DBi Services, VDOT, and the Safe-D University Transportation Center grant. The system can be assigned following distances and lateral offsets to support platoon configurations required for dynamic and short duration work zone operations while removing the driver from an unsafe working environment.
Additionally, VTTI recently participated in an initial deployment of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communication technology on Virginia roadways as part of a collaboration between Audi of America, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and American Tower Corporation. VTTI was contracted to develop the software and systems necessary to support integration of VTTI’s connected Smart Vest systems to support work zone safety use cases defined for the initial deployment.
Read the announcement and watch the video, which was filmed on the Virginia Smart Roads.
Conducts data-driven research that develops and employs sophisticated algorithms, machine learning and statistical methods, innovative data fusion, and visualization techniques to advance transportation.
The Division of Data & Analytics specializes in collaboration with industry, academic, and government partners to translate large scale data collections into robust and timely guidance and decisions. The Division focuses on challenging questions at the intersection of mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, statistics, behavior, performance, safety and policy. Our projects leverage innovative data fusion approaches, algorithmic labeling processes, and interactive visualizations to translate disparate and highly dimensional data into visible progress and understandable results. Our goals are to provide domain expertise and state-of-the-art data and analytic methods to enable our partners to answer their questions quickly, cost effectively, and with accessible output that is ready to address their most pressing needs.
Division Director: Michelle Chaka
Focuses on conducting research to develop and help with early implementation of safe, sustainable transportation improvement.
The Division for Infrastructure, Freight and Mobility is comprised of two distinct, but synergistic, research centers: (i) The Center for Technology Implementation (CTI), and (ii) The Center for Truck and Bus Safety (CTBS).
CTI provides technology implementation assistance services for transportation agencies that are exploring connected and automated vehicle (CAV) deployments in their jurisdictions. CTI focuses on the design, development, deployment and maintenance of CAV vehicle platforms, infrastructure hardware, and software systems designed to facilitate early-stage deployment of CAV applications.
CTBS solves complex and meaningful truck and bus safety problems through deployment, testing, analysis, education, and outreach. With a focus on addressing real-world problems, this center follows a research-to-practice philosophy by translating research findings into actionable countermeasures – most recently with a heavy focus on leading-edge driver assistance and automated truck and bus technologies.
Division Director: Jon Hankey
Leads research aspects involving the development of mechanical and electrical systems, manages VTTI research facilities, and assists with high performance computing resources needs.
The Division for Technology Development and Deployment specializes in developing, manufacturing, implementing, and maintaining innovative systems for transportation research. The division collaborates with other research programs and groups within VTTI to provide innovative research support. It is continuously developing advanced systems for data collection with the goal of collecting a range of detailed data while remaining unobtrusive to participant drivers. Research programs include mechanical systems and facilities operations, electronic systems and technology innovation, computing support, research computing, system design and architecture, and high-performance computing. The division’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Division Director: Zeb Bowden
Responsible for idealizing, designing, developing, and evaluating solutions to complex transportation challenges.
The Division for Vehicle, Driver & System Safety applies cutting-edge scientific methods to design, develop, refine, and evaluate solutions to complex transportation challenges, focusing on applications that reduce fatalities and improve efficiency for our transportation system users. This division includes research programs in human factors, connected vehicle, advanced and automated driving systems, product test and evaluation, injury biomechanics, vulnerable road users, roadway-based safety systems, and policy.
The research program focused on advanced automotive systems is dedicated to assessing and evaluating a range of in-vehicle driver convenience, safety, and technology applications on light passenger vehicles using test-track, controlled on-road studies, and naturalistic research methods. The applied nature of the work is intended to support Original Equipment Manufacturers and Automotive Suppliers in designing and improving the effectiveness of systems by quantifying performance benefits, unintended consequences, and potential misuse while also characterizing driver acceptance, reliance, comprehension, and understanding of advanced vehicle systems.
Division Director: Zac Doerzaph