Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Identification of Railroad Requirements for the Future Automated and Connected Vehicle (AV/CV) Environment


According to Federal Rail Administration (FRA) numbers, in 2015 there were approximately 129,582 public, at-grade highway-rail grade crossings in the U.S. Despite this large number of direct intersections between the public highway and largely private rail systems, little of the current ITS AV/CV research is focused on how to incorporate the railroad system and its operations/required safety information effectively into future roadway AV/CV system planning. This initial scanning project will examine how transportation agencies, contractors, and other highway system stakeholders designing future automated and connected systems can best consider freight and passenger railroad operational and infrastructure needs in the development of future AV/CV system architecture. The project will explore:

  • • information/data requirements for roadway vehicles to operate effectively near rail crossings,
  • • impediments to collecting and exchanging rail operations data between public agency and private rail operators,
  • • potential AV/CV implementation approaches near rail system assets that could benefit both systems, and
  • • critical, necessary additional research efforts in both the short- and long-term to address future joint railroad/highway AV/CV architecture challenges.

Research Investigators (PI*)

Curtis Morgan*
Jeff Warner (TTI)
Dahye Lee (TTI)
David Florence (TTI)

Project Information

Start Date: 2017-06-01
End Date: 2018-05-31
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $77,000
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 02-019

Safe-D Theme Areas

Automated Vehicles
Connected Vehicles
Big Data Analytics

Safe-D Application Areas

Driver Factors and Interfaces
Infrastructure Technology
Planning for Safety
Operations and Design
Vehicle Technology
Freight and Heavy Vehicle

More Information

UTC Project Information Form

Sponsor Organization

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
University Transportation Centers Program
Department of Transportation
Washington, DC 20590 United States

Performing Organization

Texas A&M University
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
3135 TAMU
College Station, Texas 77843-3135