Center for Advanced Automotive Research
The Center for Advanced Automotive Research (CAAR) focuses on the research, development and evaluation of next generation automotive systems. CAAR is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of dedicated individuals who are passionate about improving the safety and efficiency of our nation’s transportation system. This team strives to solve a broad set of challenges associated with integrating cutting-edge technologies into the vehicles of tomorrow. The primary research areas of CAAR include crash warning/avoidance/mitigation, connected vehicles, driver-vehicle interfaces, crash causation, and vehicle automation. CAAR comprises two research groups: the Advanced Product Test and Evaluation (APTE) group and the Connected & Advanced Vehicle Systems (CAVS) group. These groups work cooperatively with their industry and governmental partners to solve complex transportation problems through technology advancement.
Factors Surrounding Child Seat Usage in Rideshare Services
The issue of transporting children safely in rideshare vehicles raises questions regarding how parents, rideshare drivers and service companies deal with the practical aspects of child safety seat installation and use in this increasingly popular service. Car seats, especially infant and convertible seats for toddlers and small children can be bulky, heavy, and challenging to handle outside of vehicles. A study funded by Safe-D to examine and begin to address these concerns was undertaken by the Virginia Tech (VTTI) and Texas A&M Transportation Institutes (TTI). The study included three primary research components: an extensive review of regulations surrounding child restraint laws, a series of focus groups with parents and rideshare drivers, and a nationwide internet survey of parent and driver attitudes toward carrying child passengers in rideshare vehicles. Results indicated widespread uncertainty and confusion among both parents and drivers, indicating the need for standardized regulation across states and improved outreach to users of rideshare services. The project team constructed an informational website, kidsridesafe.org, as an initial step toward this outreach. Read More
V2V DVI Characteristics On-Road Study
Connected-vehicle technologies enable communication between vehicles (V2V) and between vehicles and infrastructure (V2I). This communication is used by various in-vehicle applications to improve the safety, mobility, and sustainability of the transportation system as well as enrich the driving experience. The communication between vehicles and infrastructure provides a perfect opportunity to generate timely crash warning system (CWS) alerts. Read More
Countermeasures to Prevent Underage Fatalities from Alcohol-Related Traffic Crashes
Traffic fatalities are the leading cause of death for youth ages 8-20 (NHTSA, 2012). Many of these traffic crashes are the direct result of alcohol-impaired driving. Over 30% of youth drivers ages 15-20 killed in traffic crashes have a positive Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), and 26% are over the legal level of impairment (NHTSA, 2013). Research-driven solutions are necessary to address youth drinking and driving. Read More
Human Factors Evaluation of an In-Vehicle Active Traffic and Demand Management (ATDM) System
Active Traffic and Demand Management (ATDM) is designed to manage roadway traffic and reduce congestion while improving safety. As a traditionally infrastructure-centric application, ATDM uses dynamic signs (often on overhead gantries) to provide relevant regulatory and informational content to drivers. With Connected Vehicles, the ATDM interface may instead be located inside vehicles, allowing messages to be more ubiquitous and salient, while also decreasing infrastructure cost to road operators and road sign clutter along the roadway. However, in-vehicle devices can have negative consequences such as driver distraction, driver dependence, complacency, and annoyance. Read More
Vehicle-Based Basic Safety Message (BSM) Generator for Accelerating Deployment
The initial deployment of V2X connected-vehicles will not produce immediate benefits. Considering that the average survivability of vehicles in the United States is approximately 15 years [NHTSA 2006], the market penetration needed for the benefits associated with connected-vehicle systems won’t be fully realized for some time. Even if all new vehicles are mandated to include such systems in addition to aftermarket devices, a disproportionate amount of non-connected vehicles compared to connected vehicles will continue to exist for some time. Since very few connected vehicles will be initially deployed, the environment will be incomplete in terms of data available for connected-vehicle applications. Read More
Connected Vehicle Virginia Testbed System Performance
If the Connected Vehicle Virginia Test Bed is to support a full-scale regional deployment, the environment must be able to effectively handle the volume of connected vehicles. In such an environment, the benefits of vehicle-to-vehicle/infrastructure (V2X) systems hinge on the ability to securely, transmit, receive, and process information. Synonymous to actual traffic jams, a similar situation may exist on the Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) 'information super-highway.' Stop-and-go traffic is a common occurrence along I-66 and its arterials. If all of the vehicles were instrumented with V2X technologies, spectral channels and network devices may become locally congested due to the amount of over-the-air (OTA) transmissions. If OTA transmissions are not properly handled, this may result in the interruption of key V2X applications. Read More
Advanced Product Test and Evaluation
The Advanced Product Test and Evaluation group (APTE) 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 that quantify performance benefits, unintended consequences, and potential misuse while also characterizing driver acceptance, use, reliance, and comprehension of advanced vehicle systems.
Connected & Advanced Vehicle Systems
The Connected & Advanced Vehicle Systems (CAVS) group is focused on leveraging connected vehicle technologies to reduce the societal costs associated with vehicle collisions. CAVS focuses on the design, development, and evaluation of connected-vehicle systems with a focus on overall system performance. This includes activities leading to improved driver-vehicle interfaces as well as enhanced communications, positioning, and integration capabilities. The group works closely with both industry and government partners to promote the state of knowledge of connected-vehicle systems and to understand the potential benefits of full-scale system deployment.
Lead Research Specialist
Senior Research Specialist