Safe-D: Safety through Disruption

Response of Autonomous Vehicles to Emergency Response Vehicles


The objective of this project is to explore how an autonomous vehicle must safely respond to different classes of emergency vehicles using sound, vision and other onboard sensors. Emergency vehicles can belong to police, fire, hospital and other responders. The autonomous vehicle in the presence of an emergency vehicle must have the ability to accurately sense its surroundings in real-time and be able to safely yield to the emergency vehicles. System safety is the main theme where we work with TEEX Law Enforcement and Security Training, and through them with local police/fire department. Currently, an integrated system approach which considers both sensing and control in addition to the test procedures and safety analysis is not available for an autonomous vehicle in emergency scenarios. This project will address this gap and experimentally verify the performance of the proposed algorithms on our autonomous vehicle (Ford-Lincoln MKZ) available through the Connected Autonomous Safe Transportation (CAST) program. The research performed through this project will also be published in peer-reviewed conferences and journals, and will support the thesis of two graduate students .

Project Highlights

Coming Soon!

Final Report

03-051 Final Report

EWD & T2 Products

Coming Soon!


Nayak, A., Gopalswamy, S., and Rathinam, S. Vision-Based Techniques for Identifying Emergency Vehicles. SAE Technical Paper 2019-01-0889, 2019, doi:10.4271/2019-01-0889. (Published)

Nayak, A. S. Rathinam, S. Gopalswamy, Texas A&M Transportation Technology Conference, 2018. (Accepted)

Research Investigators (PI*)

Sivakumar Rathinam (TAMU)*
Swaminathan Gopalswamy (TTI/TAMU)

Project Information

Start Date: 01/01/2018
End Date: 05/31/2019
Status: Active
Grant Number: 69A3551747115
Total Funding: $272,758
Source Organization: Safe-D National UTC
Project Number: 03-051

Safe-D Theme Areas

Automated Vehicles

Safe-D Application Areas

Vehicle Technology
Risk Assessment
Planning for Safety

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