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Center for Truck and Bus Safety

Tractor trailers

The Center for Truck and Bus Safety (CTBS) focuses on the research, development, and evaluation of heavy-vehicle systems and operations. CTBS is dedicated to the design, delivery, and implementation of leading-edge research and development efforts aimed at improving the safety of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and those they share the road with. CTBS comprises the Behavioral Analysis and Applications Group and the Human Factors and Advanced System Testing Group. Key research themes within CTBS include:

  • The study of driver behavior and its impact on driver safety, with a focus on distraction and fatigue
  • The determination of safe operating conditions for CMV drivers
  • The development of education programs for CMV drivers to keep them safe, healthy, and alert
  • The development of education programs for drivers who share the road with CMVs
  • Assessments of advanced vehicle technologies, including connectivity, platooning, advanced driver-assistance systems, and automated driving system applications
Rich Hanowski, Center Director

Rich Hanowski
Center Director

Featured Projects

Trucking Fleet Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Managing Mixed Fleets − Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

This goals of this project are to: (1) demonstrate the safe integration of automated driving system (ADS)-equipped trucks into the U.S. on-road transportation system; (2) provide the U.S. Department of Transportation with data for safety analysis and rulemaking to help modernize regulations; and (3) demonstrate how to integrate ADS-equipped trucks into the existing road freight ecosystem in a productive, cooperative way. Read More

Video Analytics – Federal Highway Administration

During the past decade, naturalistic driving studies (NDSs) have led to great advances in the understanding of real-world driver behavior and its relation to crash involvement. However, drawing conclusions from NDS data typically requires the manual reduction of large quantities of data by humans, which is labor intensive, time consuming, and costly. The goal of this project is to develop a system that can analyze naturalistic driving videos and automatically produce annotations and descriptors for events, behavior, and driving scenarios that relate to transportation safety and operation. Read More

Electronically Controlled Braking Systems (ECBSs) – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The goals of this research effort are to: (1) perform a comprehensive literature review and market review and engage industry to document the state of ECBS technologies, market and regulatory barriers to their development and deployment, international approaches to ECBS deployment, and cost factors in ECBS deployment; (2) perform a comprehensive review of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) 121’s implications for ECBS development and deployment, how changes to FMVSS 121 and related FMVSS requirements since 1998 have affected deployment, and the real-world representativeness of FMVSS 121 burnish requirements and test procedures; (3) identify the most likely configurations of ECBS implementation and perform functional safety and risk analyses on these configurations; and (4) develop preliminary test procedures for ECBS that are compatible with the results of objective (2) and could be used to evaluate the safety concerns or risks identified in objective (3). Read More

Commercial Driver Safety Risk Factors Study – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The objective of this study was to prospectively examine a wide array of driver personal and situational factors to determine the prevalence of these factors as well as their relationship to being involved in a crash. This study involved the collection of driver medical, demographic, and other personal factors to examine the relationship between these factors with various safety outcomes. Read More

Sharing the Road with Large Trucks: Teen Driver Education – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Safety Council (separate projects)

The objective of these projects is to provide novice drivers with information and hands-on learning experiences about sharing the road with trucks. VTTI researchers visit driver education programs to conduct free, onsite demonstrations about proper procedures for sharing the road with trucks. Read More

Fast Dash Program – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Advanced System Testing utilizing a Data Acquisition System on the Highways (FAST DASH) program conducts efficient, independent evaluations of promising safety technologies aimed at commercial vehicle operations. The Center for Truck and Bus Safety at VTTI was selected to complete three technology evaluations focusing on the efficacy of safety systems, as measured through: crash reduction effectiveness (i.e., safety improvements), unintended consequences (i.e., safety disbenefits), and user (e.g., drivers and safety managers) acceptance. Read More

CMV Driver Restart – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

VTTI conducted this Congressionally mandated naturalistic study to evaluate the operational, safety, fatigue, and health impacts of the restart provisions in Sections 395.3(c) and 395.3(d) of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations. A total of 235 commercial motor vehicle drivers representative of the industry contributed data while working their normal schedules, with 181 drivers completing all five months of the study. Read More

CAS FOT Field Study of Heavy Vehicle Crash Avoidance Systems – National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

VTTI conducted a large-scale, naturalistic field test of heavy vehicle crash avoidance system (CAS) performance and reliability. The CAS in the study included Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), which was always enabled, plus a suite of audio/visual alerts to inform the driver of potential conflicts. Read More

Bus Operator Workstation – National Academy of Sciences

This project was designed to assist transit agencies and bus manufacturers in integrating improved and emerging technologies into current procurement practices and improve bus operator workstation design across the transit industry. VTTI developed updated existing [TCRP Report 25] bus operator workstation guidelines, including tools such as the Bus Operator Workstation Feature Guideline and a three-dimensional CAD model (Bus Operator Workstation Engineering CAD Model), into products that align with the processes and practices that are common within the rest of the commercial bus and truck industry. To assist in the communication of bus operator workstation requirements with individuals who are not trained in expensive and difficult CAD software, a Bus Operator Workstation 3-D PDF Model was created for anyone who has access to a computer. Read More

Groups

Behavioral Analysis and Applications

Led by Jeffrey Hickman, Ph.D., the Behavioral Analysis and Applications (BAA) Group specializes in real-world research and development efforts that advance knowledge in the commercial motor vehicle safety and health domains. BAA assists in the design, delivery, implementation, and dissemination of safety and health improvement interventions that provide solutions to real-world problems. BAA conducts proprietary and public research in industrial and occupational safety, intelligent transportation systems, human factors, safety culture, advanced driver-assistance systems, crash causation, driver health, automated driving systems, and training and education programs.

Jeff Hickman, Group Leader

Jeff Hickman
Group Leader


Human Factors and Advanced System Testing

Led by Andrew Krum, the Human Factors and Advanced System Testing (HFAST) Group specializes in helping industry and government sponsors solve transportation challenges by providing applied research focused on understanding and optimizing interactions between humans (e.g., drivers, passengers, and pedestrians) and the transportation system. HFAST provides practical solutions based on advanced technology, public and private policy, and guidelines for a variety of transportation safety issues (e.g., visibility, fatigue, distraction, and comfort) involving light vehicles, heavy trucks, buses, and specialty vehicles (e.g., hazardous materials and fire apparatus).

Andrew Krum, Group Leader

Andrew Krum
Group Leader

Center Faculty

Matthew Camden

Behavioral Analysis and Applications

Senior Research Associate

Nicoleta Druta

Project Associate

Laurel Glenn

Behavioral Analysis and Applications

Research Associate

Mark Golusky

Human Factors and Advanced System Testing

Lead Research Specialist

Kevin Grove

Human Factors and Advanced System Testing

Senior Research Associate

Rebecca Hammond

Research Associate

Jeff Hickman

Behavioral Analysis and Applications

Research Scientist

Andrew Krum

Human Factors and Advanced System Testing

Group Leader

Kathryn Meissner

Human Factors and Advanced System Testing

Research Specialist

Andrew Miller

Human Factors and Advanced System Testing

Research Associate

Abhijit Sarkar

Behavioral Analysis and Applications

Research Associate

Susan Soccolich

Research Associate

Scott Tidwell

Senior Field Researcher Technician

Martin Walker

Senior Research Associate

Outreach Programs

Driving Healthy

As a CMV driver, eating right is challenging because access to healthy food is often limited. It can also be a challenge to find the time or resources to exercise while on the road. The goal of the Driving Healthy website is to provide CMV drivers with health and wellness information targeted towards the unique needs of CMV drivers. We encourage visitors to explore the information within the Driving Healthy website, to interact with others on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and to share CMV-specific health-related information with others.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Driving Safety

When it comes to commercial trucking, education can play a significant role in the safety and well-being of commercial drivers and the public with whom they share the roads. Researchers at VTTI have come together to provide industry professionals – risk managers, safety directors, dispatchers, and their insurance agents – with the information they need to develop strategies for a safer, more productive workforce. On this website, you will find six interactive modules prepared by VTTI research scientists who specialize in the trucking industry. Each module includes a discussion of safety issues, the latest science on the topic, and tools to help develop practical solutions. We hope that visitors are able to apply the information provided on emerging areas of safety and loss prevention in their business operations.

Tips for Sharing the Road with Commercial Motor Vehicles

The fault in over three-quarters of crashes and near-crashes involving heavy vehicles is attributed to 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. The website includes video clips of driving, simulator screenshots, scenario descriptions, short tips and facts, and photographs of actual crashes between cars and heavy vehicles to convey the importance of proper road-sharing behavior. Although the website is aimed at new drivers, all drivers can benefit from reviewing the material and scenarios to ensure that they are sharing the road properly in their everyday driving.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Driving Tips

Housed on the website of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Driving Tips website was developed to educate CMV drivers and fleet managers about common driving errors and provide valuable driving tips through an easily accessible tool, the Internet. The driving tips, ideas, and suggestions outlined on the website are supported with real-world driving video clips that exemplify errors. The truck videos shown on the website were collected during real-world (open-roadway) driving studies conducted by VTTI. As a training exercise, the examples on the website are followed by sets of questions aimed to spark thoughtful introspection of the behaviors shown in the videos.


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Contact

  • 540-231-1500
  • 540-231-1555

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