Skip to main content

Center for Infrastructure-Based Safety Systems

Lighting

The Center for Infrastructure-based Safety Systems 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. The center houses the Lighting Infrastructure Technology Group, which conducts research into such topics as sign legibility in foggy conditions and the effects of lighting sources, and the Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies Group, which represents a partnership between the institute, the Virginia Department of Transportation/Virginia Transportation Research Council, the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, and the Virginia Tech Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation.

Ron Gibbons, Center Director

Ron Gibbons
Center Director

Featured Projects

Airport Garage Lighting

This Airport Cooperative Research Program-sponsored project is designed to investigate the functionality and possible energy savings of changes to airport parking garage lighting. Current and alternative lighting technologies for airport parking garages will be considered in cost-benefit analyses. VTTI will select multiple airport sites for testing using a modified version of the VTTI-developed Roadway Lighting Mobile Measurement System. Lighting design will be conducted with assistance from the engineering firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, and the program management firm MCR Federal will assist in cost-benefit analyses.

LED Night

The Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research 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 Roadway Lighting Mobile Measurement System to determine which luminaires meet VDOT specifications.

Foggy Signs

This Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research-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. Participants on the Virginia Smart Roads 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 will provide information that can help increase active sign legibility during foggy conditions.

Wet Visibility V

Wet Visibility V is a Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research-sponsored project that expands 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 help guide the pavement-marking policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Adaptive Lighting

This Federal Highway Administration-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. While the presence of lighting has been connected to reductions in crashes, there is not sufficient data to link roadway brightness to crash rate. To address this lack of data, VTTI is evaluating the crash rates and lighting systems in six states. A Bayesian analysis will be applied to associate lighting performance with crash rate. Draft procedures will be developed to aid in the design of adaptive lighting systems and guide the adaptation of lighting systems for specific driving environments. In a final step, VTTI will complete a legal review of the proposed guidelines to ensure the viability of the developed system. At present, the research team is actively involved in the crash analysis.

Groups

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

The Lighting Infrastructure Technology Group is conducting research into numerous 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.

Ron Gibbons, Center Director

Ron Gibbons
Group Leader


Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies

The Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies Group (ETAT) is a partnership between VTTI, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Transportation Research Council, the Virginia Tech Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, 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 Roads, VTTI researchers, and additional VTTI support staff.

Andy Alden, Group Leader

Andy Alden
Group Leader

Center Faculty

Rajaram Bhagavathula

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Senior Research Associate

Liz Catron

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Research Coordinator

Cristian Druta

Eco-Transportation and Alternative Technologies

Senior Research Associate

Ronald Gibbons

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Director

Andrew Kassing

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Senior Research Specialist

Eric Li

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Research Scientist

Charlotte Lowdermilk

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Project Associate

Alejandra Medina

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Senior Research Associate

Bradley Myers

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Senior Research Specialist

Matthew Palmer

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Senior Research Associate

Travis Terry

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Research Associate

Brian Williams

Lighting Infrastructure Technology

Research Associate

Contact

  • 540-231-1500
  • 540-231-1555

Media Contact