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Media Highlights

VTTI in the News is distributed every two months and highlights where VTTI has been featured in the media.

Inside VTTI

Inside VTTI is a quarterly e-newsletter showcasing how VTTI is advancing transportation through innovation.

News Archive

Miguel Perez awarded the 2021 Liviu Librescu Faculty Prize for Outstanding Accomplishments


The award is presented annually by BEAM in honor of the engineering science and mechanics professor who was among the 32 lives lost on April 16, 2007.

Traffic fatality expert: even during pandemic, 'past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior'


Americans drove less in 2020 due to the pandemic, and yet data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration point to the largest projected number of fatalities since 2007. Research scientist Charlie Klauer offers some reasons why.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month


As the weather warms up, motorcycle riding season is kicking into full gear. In honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) would like to offer some tips and things to consider to keep riders safe on the road.

Preventing child hot-car deaths through technology


In 2018 and 2019, pediatric vehicular heatstroke was the leading cause of nontraffic child fatalities in the United States, according to the safety organization Kids and Cars. VTTI has released new research about technologies that are designed to prevent child hot-car deaths.

Gerardo Flintsch named Dan Pletta Professor


Gerardo Flintsch, director of the Center for Sustainable & Resilient Transportation Infrastructure at VTTI, has been named the Dan Pletta Professor by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

Search committee for transportation institute executive director announced


A national search has been launched to recruit the next executive director of VTTI. The transportation institute executive director will oversee the university’s largest research institute, which is conducting more than 300 current research projects in partnership with more than 100 public and private organizations to improve transportation safety nationally and globally.

Virginia Tech and City of Falls Church to partner on ‘Smart City’ test bed


The City of Falls Church and VTTI, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation, are collaborating to develop a Smart City test bed on and adjacent to the university’s campus off Haycock Road in Northern Virginia.

Tom Dingus to step down as director of VTTI


Tom Dingus, director of VTTI for 25 years and endowed professor, has announced he plans to step down from the directorship and return to the faculty.

Researcher receives industry award for women leaders in engineering


Michelle Chaka, Director of the Division of Data & Analytics, is the recipient of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International 2021 J. Cordell Breed Award for Women Leaders.

In memorium: Hampton Clay Gabler III


Hampton Clay Gabler III, an esteemed faculty member of the Center for Injury Biomechanics, died on Jan. 11, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. In his work for the Center for Injury Biomechanics, a research partnership between Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University, Gabler utilized crash modeling and simulation techniques. His academic legacy spans the fields of injury biomechanics, crash safety and vehicle crashworthiness, automated vehicles, and aeronautical safety.

VTTI research informs SAE International best practices for public safety and automated driving system-dedicated vehicles


In December, the Society for Automotive Engineers International’s Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium (AVSC) released the first set of best practices designed to help police, firefighters, and emergency medical services personnel interact safely with automated driving system-dedicated vehicles (ADS-DVs)—even without the presence of human drivers.

Virginia Tech Publishing and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute publish 'Survive the Drive'


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,000 deaths occur each year from crashes on U.S. highways. In "Survive the Drive," Tom Dingus, one of the foremost authorities on driving safety, describes how to reduce the risk of accidents while on the road.

Rural test bed pioneers a new frontier of vehicle research


The Rural Roadway Expansion, which was unveiled by Virginia Tech, VTTI, and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) on Nov. 19, is the first research facility created to test automated driving systems and other next-generation technologies in a rural setting.

New leadership team positions VTTI for success


As VTTI looks to the future, it recognizes that modern transportation challenges need modern solutions. A new leadership team has been tasked with overseeing an updated research and administrative program that will increase the institute’s agility in addressing current and future transportation needs for its partners.

VTTI is developing the work zone of the future


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to develop the work zone of the future, improving work zone safety through new technology.

VTTI offers insight into 2020 U.S. traffic fatality estimates


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced its its preliminary estimates for motor vehicle fatalities in the second quarter of 2020. Although the full data set is not yet available for analysis, VTTI offered insights into these early projections for public awareness.

In memoriam: Ray Douglas Pethtel, Jr., transportation visionary


Pethtel, former director of the Center for Transportation Research at Virginia Tech, played a significant role in positioning the university as a leader in transportation research and technology.

Tom Dingus inducted into the Academy of Engineering Excellence at Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech's College of Engineering inducted five new members into the Academy of Engineering Excellence, to be celebrated at an induction ceremony in 2021.

National transportation center evaluates commercial driver risk, in-vehicle monitoring, and return on investment for safety technologies


Trucking companies face a variety of industry challenges, including an aging workforce, driver shortages, injuries and fatalities, and the cost of implementing advanced safety technologies. The National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence (NSTSCE) has issued several new reports on these topics to help fleets navigate them successfully and improve their safety outcomes.

LED research lights the path for U.S. roadway design guidelines


With significant contributions from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine have published the first national guidelines for using light emitting diode (LED) lamps to light U.S. roadways.

Unmanned aerial systems demonstration takes flight at VTTI on behalf of the U.S. Army


A week-long field market research demonstration of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones, concluded on July 31 at VTTI in support of the United States Army’s unmanned ground vehicle program. The demonstration was organized by the National Advanced Mobility Consortium and hosted by the institute.

Transportation institute exceeds record milestone; looks to the future


Externally sponsored awards at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) topped $50 million in just over a year, setting a record for the institute, and allowing VTTI to lead further advancements in roadway safety and technology research.

Ronald B. Gibbons receives IES Medal Award


Article by Nasanbileg Enkhbold - Ronald Gibbons, a faculty member in the School of Architecture + Design and the Director for the Center for Infrastructure Based Safety Systems at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been recognized by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) with the IES Medal Award.

Driving safety program trucks along in new online format


From a distance, transportation researchers are finding creative ways to continue educating teenage drivers on safe driving behaviors.

National study to explore automated driving systems in dynamic scenarios


Funded by a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the new study will explore how to configure automated driving systems to address situations involving first responders and construction zones in a safe, reliable manner.

Can child rear seat alerts help prevent hot-car deaths?


Every year, 38 children on average die in the United States inside a hot car. Researchers at VTTI are studying rear seat alerts to help save lives.

$7.5 million study to develop operational plan for mixed truck fleets


A new four-year study, led by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) in partnership with a 16-member team, seeks to provide the trucking industry, regulators, and the general public with practical guidelines for safely integrating automated driving systems into current fleets. The research is funded by a $7.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

iTHRIV announces statewide health research pilot projects recipients


The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) partnership between Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, Carilion Clinic, and Inova Health System has awarded $200,000 in funding to four research projects through the Pilot Translational and Clinical Studies Program. A project co-led by VTTI researcher Miguel Perez was among the recipients.

Research team works to develop new ways to detect air pollutants


With a $2.3 million award from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, an interdisciplinary team of Virginia Tech researchers is working to revolutionize a testing process for these harmful pollutants, in particular for truck drivers.

Mobility researchers recognized by Transportation Research Board for application of deep learning for in-vehicle systems


Hesham Rakha and Osama Osman of VTTI’s Center for Sustainable Mobility have been recognized by the Transportation Research Board for their study of machine learning techniques that can detect distracted driving behaviors.

Researcher honored by the Transportation Research Board for her work on automation in state motor vehicle codes


Tammy Trimble, senior research associate, received the John C. Vance Paper Award for her team’s research on the regulatory landscape of advanced vehicles.

Student’s research seeks to educate consumers on driver assistance technologies


Alexandria Noble received an award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society for her research on driver training methods.

Sleep apnea treatment reduces medical insurance costs for truck drivers


Employer-mandated programs to screen, diagnose and treat truck drivers for obstructive sleep apnea can lower the medical costs for associated conditions.

VTTI receives $15 million from U.S. Department of Transportation for automated vehicle research


This funding, with additional support from the Virginia Department of Transportation, enables VTTI to drive forward its commitment to developing solutions to transportation challenges.

Virginia Tech rolls out electric scooters for pilot research


VTTI's pilot study with Spin will analyze scooter safety and mobility on Virginia Tech’s campus.

Electric scooters roll onto Virginia Tech campus for pilot study


Starting on September 1, 300 e-scooters will be available at university ride-share stations for check-out using the Spin app for short commutes across campus.

National study finds comprehensive approach needed to improve commercial motor carrier safety performance


Trucking companies that prioritize safety through their management practices and use of advanced technologies can greatly improve their performance outcomes, according to a new study from the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence (NSTSCE).

National study evaluates collision avoidance technology for transit buses, seeks to improve pedestrian, rider, bus operator safety


An innovative Pedestrian Avoidance Safety System is being tested at VTTI. If successful, the technology could be implemented in transit fleets across the nation.

Students win international vehicle safety design competition


A group of VT engineering graduate students won the international championship for the 2019 Collegiate Student Safety Technology Design Competition (SSTDC), hosted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the Netherlands, June 10-13.

Student engineering team advances to global vehicle safety design competition


VT engineering students were in the Netherlands June 10-13 for the global round of NHTSA's Student Safety Technology Design Competition.

Low-speed ahead: Meet VTTI’s automated shuttle


VTTI’s low-speed automated vehicle will be used initially for a mobility study at the institute.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to Share Naturalistic Study with Autonomous Vehicle Developers


VTTI's motorcycle research can now benefit developers of self-driving cars.

VTTI secures grant from the Road to Zero Coalition to expand truck safety outreach program


VTTI has received a Safe System Innovation Grant from the Road to Zero Coalition to advance its educational outreach to driver’s education students.

Student researcher wins scholarship to attend national traffic safety conference


Mohammed Almannaa, a third-year doctoral student in civil engineering, received the Traffic Safety Scholars award to attend the 37th annual Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities.

Safe to use hands-free devices in the car? Yes, according to research


Safe to use hands-free devices in the car? Yes, according to research

High schoolers see the road from a truck driver's point of view


VTTI researchers are visiting 25 high schools to teach driver’s education students how to drive safely around trucks. The "Sharing the Road" program is funded by a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Students help fuel advanced-vehicle R&D for top companies in new VTTI internship program


Virginia Tech students now have the rare opportunity to work directly with leading employers on accelerating driverless vehicle safety thanks to InternHUB, a unique paid internship program at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).

VTTI, under contract with NHTSA, to host FMVSS Stakeholder Meeting: Considerations for Automated Driving Systems


The meeting will be held on November 28-29, 2018, at the USDOT headquarters in Washington, DC.

New study buckles down on child car seat use in ride-share vehicles


Researchers at VTTI and Texas A&M Transportation Institute have released a new study about child ridership and safety seat use in ride-share vehicles.

Driving safety experts convene at Virginia Tech for international naturalistic driving research symposium


Transportation researchers, practitioners, and other experts from around the world gathered in Blacksburg, Va. in August to share advancements being made in international driving safety.

VIDEO: Virginia Tech President Tim Sands talks about the value of Virginia Tech's unique footprint in engaging partners


VTTI plays a critical role in Virginia Tech’s interdisciplinary research presence in Blacksburg, Roanoke, Northern Virginia and across the Commonwealth.

Transurban and VTTI partner to make roadways safer for motorcycle riders


Transurban has partnered with VTTI to launch the Motorcycle Technology Evaluation Challenge (MotoTEC). MotoTEC seeks to implement rider-centric research to identify and advance potential new technologies to address the safety and usability needs of riders on the road and around construction work zones.

Teen crash risk highest during first three months after getting driver’s license


Teenage drivers are eight times more likely to be involved in a collision or near miss during the first three months after getting a driver’s license, compared to the previous three months on a learner’s permit, suggests a new study led by the National Institutes of Health.

VTTI on pace to surpass milestones, advance transportation solutions


The transportation landscape is rapidly evolving, and VTTI—along with its affiliated corporation, the Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation—is keeping pace to address industry needs while ensuring the safety of transportation users.

Register for the Seventh International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research


The National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence at VTTI will host the Seventh International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research in Blacksburg, Virginia on August 28-30.

Local high school students explore driving safety at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute


VTTI researchers spoke with local high school students about teen driving risks and demonstrated ways to become safe drivers, during its School Day program.

Career event for students celebrates women in transportation; empowers future engineers


To acknowledge both the road ahead and women’s gains to date, VTTI and the Virginia Tech Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) chapter are co-hosting a free career development event with the U.S. Department of Transportation on March 13, 2018.

Transportation institute awarded $2.7 million in federal contracts on lighting, fuel-efficient automation


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has received two U.S. Department of Energy contracts totaling $2.7 million to study eco-conscious solutions for roadway lighting and automated-vehicle design.

Smart Road expansions cement Virginia Tech Transportation Institute as a leader in advanced-vehicle testing


VTTI — in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation — unveiled four expansions to the Virginia Smart Road on Nov. 14.

Transportation institute awarded federal contract to study alternative vehicle designs and how they affect current safety standards


VTTI has received a contract from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to lead a multidisciplinary project that develops technical translations to existing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and related testing procedure approaches for emerging innovative and non-traditional vehicle designs.

Transportation institute director to speak at TEDxWilmington Salon


Tom Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, has been selected as one of 12 international leaders in the transportation world to gather in Wilmington, Delaware, for the Oct. 17 TEDxWilmingtonSalon event, “Who’s in the Driver’s Seat? The Transformation of Transportation.”

Ford, Virginia Tech Go Undercover to Develop Signals That Enable Autonomous Vehicles to Communicate with People


Ford and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute are testing a Ford-designed lighting method for self-driving vehicles to signal their intent to pedestrians, human drivers and bicyclists in an effort to create a standard visual language everyone can easily process and understand.

Transportation institute receives NSF award to study effects of autonomous truck deployment


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has received an inaugural Convergence award from the National Science Foundation to support research on autonomous trucks and their future workforce implications.

Transportation researcher appointed to federal advisory council on motorcycle safety


Shane McLaughlin, director of the Center for Automated Vehicle Systems at the transportation institute and an expert on motorcycle safety research, has been appointed by the U.S. Department of Transportation to serve as a special government employee on the Motorcyclist Advisory Council to the Federal Highway Administration.

VTTI Automated vehicle-related Testing In Arlington, Va.


This study is one of many being conducted to determine how best to design automated vehicles.

Transportation institute researcher receives national award for safety engineering excellence


Myra Blanco, director of the Center for Public Policy, Partnerships, and Outreach and an advanced-vehicle researcher at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, has been named the recipient of the 2017 U.S. Government Award for Safety Engineering Excellence.

Institute engineers drive advanced-vehicle technology forward


An embedded hardware team leader reveals an inside look at VTTI’s connected- and automated-vehicle testing capabilities.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and partners named a national safety center by U.S. Department of Transportation


The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced the award recipients of five highly competitive national University Transportation Center grants, naming the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and its partners Texas A&M Transportation Institute and San Diego State University — with support from the Virginia Department of Transportation — as one of two national safety University Transportation Centers.

Class of 2016: Traffic research green lights career opportunities for Fawaz Almutairi


Institute wraps up successful Fifth International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research


Driving researchers and practitioners worldwide recently gathered in Blacksburg, Va., for the Fifth International Symposium on Naturalistic Driving Research, hosted by the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Virginia Tech reveals $75 million plan to emphasize intelligent infrastructure


Virginia Tech will invest $75 million over five years to build teaching and research capacity in areas where it is already a national leader, including smart design and construction, and autonomous vehicles across land, air, and water, university officials said today.

Sen. Mark Warner visits Virginia-based tire and vehicle testing center; praises it as an economic leader


On August 16, Warner visited the center to get a first-hand look at its endeavors in enhancing tire and vehicle design and its economic impact on the Southern Virginia region.

Virginia Tech Transportation researchers develop award-winning model to identify weather and road congestion


Center for Sustainable Mobility researchers have developed an award-winning model to identify the impact of weather on road congestion. Hesham Rakha, center director, (left) and Hao Chen (right) are pictured.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute part of new state legislation enacted for the testing and use of automated-vehicle technologies


New legislation signed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe allows the sale of motor vehicles that can display moving images while the car or truck is in automated driving mode.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute named “Best of R&D in Virginia” by Southern Business & Development magazine


VTTI is leading research and development efforts into next-generation vehicular technology, including connected and automated vehicles (pictured here during a demonstration held on Interstate 95 in Northern Virginia).

Virginia Tech design team to present bumper design to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety


A Virginia Tech mechanical engineering senior design team, advised by Jared Bryson of the VTTI and Professor Robin Ott, will be presenting their work at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Roundtable on May 5.

Virginia Tech student awarded transportation scholarship


Laura Farrell, a Virginia Tech student and research specialist with the university’s transportation institute, has been awarded a scholarship as a Lifesavers’ 2016 Traffic Safety Scholar for her paper about automated vehicles.

Virginia Tech researchers co-author new study about effects of non-compliance with sleep apnea treatment on truck drivers' crash risk


Truck drivers who have obstructive sleep apnea and who do not attempt to adhere to a mandated treatment program have a fivefold increase in the risk of a severe crash, according to a new study co-authored by VTTI researchers and featured in the March 21 online edition of the journal Sleep.

Researchers determine driver risks using large-scale, crash-only naturalistic database


Drivers increase their crash risk nearly tenfold when they get behind the wheel while observably angry, sad, crying, or emotionally agitated, according to Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers writing in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Automated Vehicle Crash Rate Comparison Using Naturalistic Data


Self-driving cars are quickly moving from prototype to everyday reality. During this transition, the question that is first and foremost on the mind of the public and policy-makers is whether or not self-driving cars are more prone to crashes.

Graduate student develops and tests in-vehicle safety application on Interstate 66


As part of a Connected Vehicle-Infrastructure University Transportation Center project, Virginia Tech graduate student Kayla Sykes of Richmond, Virginia, tested an in-vehicle application with the potential to improve driver safety and save time.

Transportation Researcher Publishes First Driving Guide of its Kind


In their new book “Survive the Drive: A Guide to Keeping Everyone on the Road Alive,” authors Tom Dingus and Mindy Buchanan-King combine years of facts, figures, reports, new cutting-edge research, and personal anecdotes into a single guide to help drivers understand and handle their everyday risks.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute wins $2.5 million contract for trucker safety study


Virginia Tech, along with subcontractors from Washington State University and SmartDrive, won a $2.5 million contract from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to study a flexible hours-of-service safety provision that will allow long-haul truck drivers to split their required sleeper berth time into shorter periods.

New VDOT program at Virginia Tech will accelerate pavement testing


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) today flipped the switch to start a new program that will cut years off the time needed to test the response of innovative pavements to the daily impacts of heavy traffic.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, partners test automated, connected vehicles on interstate


Federal and state officials received hands-on experience with “hands-off” automated and connected driving as they traveled a 10-mile stretch of an interstate highway in Northern Virginia in cars sporting the latest automated- and connected-vehicle technology.

VTTI students win Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program awards


Two graduate students working with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have each won a scholarship award from the Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program.

Virginia Tech teams with Federal Highway Administration to bring new road safety technology to United States


In a project funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has welcomed the first Sideway-force Coefficient Routine Investigation Machine, or SCRIM for short, to the United States.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and partners unveil Virginia Automated Corridors


A new initiative has been unveiled that will revolutionize the development and deployment of automated vehicles: the Virginia Automated Corridors, established by VTTI in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation; the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles; Transurban; and HERE, Nokia’s mapping business.

Thomas Dingus joins board of Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's director was elected for the 2015-2018 term.

VTTI launches effort to make traveling through traffic lights safer, smarter and cheaper


Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers are working on a new project that could change the way motorists navigate through traffic lights, making the everyday action safer, smarter, and cheaper – the last by cutting fuel costs and likewise reducing pollution.

Transportation institute will share massive trove of driver research data


Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has won a $16.4 million contract to facilitate making thousands of hours worth of driving data available to researchers. The overriding goal: make driving safer.

Survive the Drive: A Guide to Keeping Everyone on the Road Alive


Take a sneak peek into a book written to keep you safe amongst the hurtling metal objects of unusual size and speed traveling the roadways. Written by VTTI Director Tom Dingus, Survive the Drive will ultimately discuss the greatest risks you face as a driver today and what you can do to reduce those risks.

Video: Center for Data Reduction and Analysis Support


VTTI is home to nearly 90% of continuous naturalistic driving data in the world, providing the largest source of real-world information about driver performance and behavior. The VTTI Center for Data Reduction and Analysis Support was created in 2013 to support users in standardized access to and analysis of numerous naturalistic driving study data sets held at VTTI

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to head new Hours of Service trucker restart study for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is taking a new look at the impacts of restart breaks on commercial truck drivers’ safety performance and fatigue levels as part of a $4 million study for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  

Transportation institute's New England Journal of Medicine article vaults into top-read ranks


A study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers published in the New England Journal of Medicine has vaulted to the Top 15 most-read of more than 10,000 studies published by the prestigious, 200-year-old journal.

VTTI Impact: New England Journal of Medicine article by VTTI researchers named one of 2014';s top 100 most discussed academic papers



Graduate student exploring ways to make riding a motorcycle safer using connected driving data


Virginia Tech master's degree student Alexandria Noble is exploring ways to improve road safety for motorcyclists, using connected-vehicle technology and naturalistic driving research developed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Tire and vehicle research groups undergo new structure as work spreads to international levels


Virginia Tech Transportation Institute combines its Halifax County, Virginia, vehicle, tire research centers into new Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation.

Photos from Smart Road Open House


Recently, VTTI in collaboration with the Virginia Science Festival, Blacksburg Transit and Virginia Department of Transportation hosted Open House.

Recent Symposium/Conference Photo Gallery


Recently VTTI has been busy hosting and attending conferences. Click through to view some images from these events.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute works on study that could display traffic signs inside vehicles


Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute are in the early stages of a novel idea to move stop and yield signs, among other posted traffic, from the side of the road into the car itself, where a dashboard screen will automatically alert the driver of what actions to take, if any.

Transportation institute awarded $55 million in federal contracts on truck safety, automated vehicles


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has captured two federal contracts worth a combined potential $55 million to further study safety efforts for commercial truck drivers and break new ground in the burgeoning field of automated vehicles.

InSight Data Access Website Runner-up in U.S. DOT Data Innovation Challenge


Anthony Foxx, Secretary of Transportation, recently launched a Data Innovation Challenge to develop technology that improves transportation access, traffic and congestion management, and transportation safety. The InSight Data Access website was one of three runner-ups acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure hosts inter-university symposium


Infrastructure can greatly influence the well-being of a community, from increasing mobility to ensuring safe drinking water and stable structures. Infrastructure management and research are thus vital to society and were key components of the 10th Annual Inter-University Symposium on Infrastructure Management hosted recently at Virginia Tech.

Transportation institute teams with Blacksburg Transit to ease wait times, save fuel costs


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has teamed with Blacksburg Transit to create a new mobile app that could make waiting for the bus an act of the past and help the transit authority reduce fuel usage.

Pascha Gerni named director of finance at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute


In her new position, Pascha Gerni will manage the institute's $45 million annual operating budget.

Hesham A. Rakha named Samuel Reynolds Pritchard Professor of Engineering


A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1997, Hesham Rakha has received international recognition for his research on traffic flow theory, traveler and driver behavior modeling, dynamic traffic assignment, traffic control, transportation energy and environmental modeling, and transportation safety modeling.

NASCAR comes to Virginia Tech to test tires on a unique machine that can spin rubber at 200 mph


At the National Tire Research Center, Goodyear Racing -- the official supplier of race tires for NASCAR -- has been testing a sample of the tires it designs specifically for each track.

Researchers to design vehicle-to-vehicle communication integration framework


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awards $1 million to Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to build vehicle-to-vehicle, and vehicle-to-driver communication technology, soon to be mandated in all vehicles.

New England Journal of Medicine study: Virginia Tech researchers find novice teen drivers easily fall into distraction, accidents


Teens may begin their driving habits with great caution, but as months behind the wheel pass and complacency sets in, they begin to multitask -- dialing cell phones, eating, and talking to passengers -- and greatly raise the danger of more crashes and near-crashes than experienced drivers.

VTTI invited to discuss current and future transportation policies with Sen. Tim Kaine


During a recent visit to the Roanoke Valley, Sen. Tim Kaine met with researchers from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to discuss transportation policies, particularly as they relate to distracted driving.

VTTI celebrates 25th anniversary


On Nov. 15, 2013, VTTI celebrated 25 years of advancing transportation through innovation. The institute opened its doors to hundreds of members of the community who took tours of the Smart Road and the Virginia Department of Transportation 511 Center; saw demos of transportation research efforts into connected-vehicle technology, automated vehicle technology, naturalistic driving, and efforts to deter distracted driving; and saw a demo of the Valeo self-parking car and General Motors’ luxury crossover 2013 Cadillac SRX.

Wheel Whisperers: How the Smart Road ‘talks’ to vehicles


The Virginia Tech Magazine recently visited VTTI for a feature about the Smart Road, connected-vehicle technology, and improving the safety of the transportation community.

VTTI director talks distracted driving research with RealClearPolitics


VTTI Director Thomas A. Dingus served as a panel member during the Oct. 9 RealClearPolitics discussion about the dangers of distracted driving.

Video: Google Partners with VTTI



Virginia Tech Transportation Institute signs partnership with Paris-based transportation research group


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has signed a five-year collaborative agreement with the largest transportation research group in the world, the Paris-based French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks.

Reducing Driver Fatigue


The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) is expanding its role in ensuring driver safety by serving an integral part in the launch of the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP) for commercial vehicle drivers and carriers. The NAFMP is a voluntary, fully interactive web-based educational and training program designed to address lifestyle choices made outside of the work environment that may contribute to fatigue.

Gov. Bob McDonnell helps Virginia Tech Transportation Institute launch Virginia connected vehicle test bed


The connected vehicle test bed initiative involves vehicles equipped with connected wireless technology that enables them to "talk" to each other via wireless sensors installed along the highway infrastructure.

New VTTI study results continue to highlight the dangers of distracted driving


Recently released results from a new Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) naturalistic driving study continue to show that distracted driving is a tangible threat.

VTTI Impacts Transportation Policy


VTTI has provided lawmakers the ability to use substantiated research to educate the population about driving while distracted. Photo caption: Thomas Dingus (left), director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, was honored May 8 as a White House Champion of Change. Dr. Dingus is pictured with Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood (right).

White House to honor Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's Tom Dingus as "Champion of Change"


Thomas Dingus, director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, will be honored May 8 by the White House as a Champion of Change, a group of Americans seen as making positive change. This year's theme is Transportation Technology Solutions for the 21st century.

11th annual Undergraduate Research Conference to be held April 19


Almost 100 students will present their research and creative scholarship at the 11th annual Undergraduate Research Conference on Friday, April 19. Family, friends, those affiliated with the university, and the greater community are welcome to attend.

Graduate student award-winning research documents road surfaces that quiet tire noise


A graduate student's award-winning research on the measurement of tire noise identifies quieting road surface treatments.

If you think seatbelt use inconvenient, consider the inconvenience of being injured


Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers determine that occasional seatbelt users often only buckle-up for high speed roads, although most accidents occur during more frequent local drives.

Future cruise control to have environmental, safety features


The use of an eco-cruise control system being developed by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers could save billions of gallons of fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Myra Blanco receives international award for transportation research, leadership, work-life balance


Myra Blanco of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been recognized for her professional contributions and support of colleagues while also overcoming personal adversity.

Virginia Tech ranking for research spending jumps; remains tops in Virginia


A new report from the National Science Foundation shows Virginia Tech has risen from 44th to 41st in a national ranking of research and development spending at public universities in 2011. Virginia Tech remains the top university in Virginia for funds expended in the pursuit of science, engineering, and other scholarly activity, and the only Virginia institution in the top 50.

Work on automatic control of driverless vehicles through intersections receives recognition


Someday cars will drive themselves and you will want control at intersections to be perfect. 

Lighting research with real-world impact recognized


In recognition of research that is making transportation safe, Ron Gibbons has been named a Fellow by the the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

Symposium opens dialogue about transportation and the aging population


A senior mobility awareness symposium, on Dec. 6, will address the changing transportation needs of our older population.

Naturalistic study used in China to examine causes of accidents


Tongji University of Shanghai, General Motors, and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute are teaming to bring naturalistic driving research to Shanghai, China.

New communication systems would allow vehicles to 'talk' with roadways


A fleet of instrumented vehicles are testing these systems on two test beds -- one in Northern Virginia and one in Southwestern Virginia.

Research predicts warning, automatic braking systems on autos will help save lives


Systems available on some new cars will warn of collision, boost braking, and autonomously apply brakes. Scientists predict the extent to which these systems will save lives.

National Tire Research Center to open


The National Tire Research Center introduced a facility to the public on Oct. 24 that will become the one-stop destination for global tire testing and development -- bringing jobs and new businesses to the region.

Lighting critical to safety of parking lots


Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers are testing new lighting technologies in a new commuter lot in Northern Virginia.

Observations of real-life driving behavior enables researchers to recommend life-saving strategies


Taking your eyes off the road to dial a cell phone or look up an address and send a text increases the risk of crashing by 600 to 2,300 percent.

Electronic recording of truck drivers' hours-of-service evaluated


Will electronic monitoring in commercial vehicles improve safety and compliance with hours-of-service requirements?

Virginia Tech biomedical program receives two of Toyota's research safety projects, honored for its brain trauma research


Toyota announces two new research projects will be spearheaded by the Virginia Tech -- Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences

I-81 Corridor Coalition annual meeting to begin Oct. 31 in Blacksburg


National and state transportation leaders are slated to speak at the annual meeting to be held Monday, Oct. 31 and Tuesday, Nov. 1 at the Holiday Inn University, 900 Prices Fork Rd., Blacksburg.

Department of Defense supports study to reduce head, neck, chest injury


The Virginia Tech-Wake Forest Center for Injury Biomechanics has received $3.5 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to investigate blast-induced brain trauma and ways to reduce injury.

Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center partners with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute


Toyota is partnering with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to enhance the development, testing, and implementation of new automotive safety innovations.

Video: Economic developers take a closer look at Virginia Tech's research assets


Economic developers from around Virginia gathered at Virginia Tech to learn more about the university's assets, especially the research institutes.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute creates 'Driving Healthy' resource network to aid commercial vehicle drivers


Researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute in the Center for Truck and Bus Safety have created the "Driving Healthy" resource network on a website, Facebook, and Twitter for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

College of Engineering, University of Nottingham form research and education partnership


In an extremely selective competition involving 230 submissions, the British Council for Relations with Other Countries is funding a strategic research and international education partnership between the College of Engineering and the University of Nottingham.

U.S. Department of Defense supports study of brain, eye injuries in military personnel


The Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanics has been awarded a $2.8 million contract from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command for phase 2 of an overall project focusing on brain and eye injuries in military personnel.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Center for Injury Biomechanics receive $1.5 million for research


The National Academies has awarded the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's Center for Injury Biomechanics two research grants totaling $1.5 million. These grants are to fund in-depth investigations of serious and fatal road departure crashes to identify the crash and injury causation mechanisms associated with these traumatic events.

Virginia Tech and GM announce creation of the National Tire Research Center in Southside, Virginia


Virginia Tech announced today the establishment of the National Tire Research Center, an advanced tire research and test facility to be established in Southside Virginia.

New York Times journalist receives Pulitzer Prize for story highlighting Virginia Tech Transportation Institute research


Last week, the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Journalism for national reporting was awarded to Matt Richtel and members of The New York Times staff for their July 18, 2009, front page story that highlighted research study results from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Center for Injury Biomechanics announces $3 million award


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded $3 million over five years to Virginia Tech's Center for Injury Biomechanics.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Center for Injury Biomechanics Crash Sled Lab now open


The grand opening of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute's (VTTI) Center for Injury Biomechanics (CIB) Crash Sled Lab, which is primarily funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, was held today at its facility in the Corporate Research Center (CRC) in Blacksburg.

New data from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute provides insight into cell phone use and driving distraction


Several large-scale, naturalistic driving studies -- using sophisticated cameras and instrumentation in participants' personal vehicles -- conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), provide a clear picture of driver distraction and cell phone use under real-world driving conditions, according to the institute.

New partnership between Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and Center for Injury Biomechanics receives first research grant


A team of three Virginia Tech faculty members -- Stefan Duma, Warren Hardy, and H. Clay Gabler -- was recently awarded $2.6 million from U.S. Army Research Acquisition Activity to study the biomechanics of head, neck, and chest injury prevention for soldiers.

Virginia Tech Transportation Fellow issues white paper on abusive driver fees


Ray D. Pethtel, Virginia Tech's University Transportation Fellow and associate director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, has issued a white paper on Virginia's controversial abusive driver fees imposed through legislation passed during last year's General Assembly session and signed into law by Governor Tim Kaine.

Transportation Institute dedicates new research building


Today, with The Honorable John Warner as the keynote speaker, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) dedicated its new 22,000 square-foot building in Blacksburg as the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence (STSCE). University administrators as well as other local and state officials also attended.

Transportation Institute releases findings on driver behavior and crash factors


Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to a landmark research report released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).


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