In order to reduce risky behaviour around work zones, this project examines the effectiveness of using in-vehicle messages to heighten drivers’ awareness of safety-critical and pertinent work zone information. The investigation centers around an inexpensive technology based on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags that can be deployed in or ahead of the work zone. A smartphone app was developed to trigger non-distracting, auditory-visual messages in a smartphone mounted in a vehicle within range of the BLE work zone tags. Messages associated with BLE tags around the work zone can be updated remotely in real time and as such may provide significantly improved situational awareness about dynamic conditions at work zones such as: awareness of workers on site, changing traffic conditions, or hazards in the environment. Experiment results indicate that while travelling at 70 MPH(113 km/h), the smartphone app is able to successfully detect a long-range BLE tag placed over 410 feet (125 m)away on a traffic barrel on a roadway shoulder. Additional experiments are being conducted to validate the system performance under different roadway geometry, traffic, and weather conditions.
Publication Date: 2016
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Topics: Audible Warning Devices in Vehicles; Bluetooth Technology; Mobile Applications; Smartphones; Warning Devices; Work Zones