The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 206 [Active (IDEA)]

From Location Tracking to Continuous Interpretation: Rule-Based Automated Safety Work Zone Safety

  Project Data
Funds: $139,915
Staff Responsibility: Inam Jawed
Research Agency: University of Houston
Principal Investigator: Kyungki Kim
Fiscal Year: 2018

This project will develop and test an automated safety monitoring system for work zone safety based on a rule-based software program for location tracking and new generation ultra wide bandwidth (UWB) sensing. Work in Stage 1 of the project will focus on designing, developing and testing core functions of the proposed system along with the location tracking tool and the rule-based software program. A UWB location-tracking tool will be developed to accurately locate positions of workers and equipment. For selected equipment, optimal ways to place multiple UWB tags will be identified. Additional capabilities in the tracking tool will be developed to increase robustness in congested and dynamic work zones. These capabilities will include algorithms for automated processing of signal blocking by heavy equipment, direct and reflected signals distinction, etc. Interviews and site visits will be conducted to create a list of rules (logics of software program) to identify safety hazards. A software program to implement the rules will be developed. The software user interface will support the creation of objects and information in Internal Traffic Control Planning (ITCP). Fake location data will be used in software tests. Work in the final Stage 2 will involve developing and evaluating the integrated safety monitoring system comprising all the core functions developed in Stage 1. All system components -- location tracking, rule-based software program, alerting devices and a tablet application -- will be integrated in a cloud-based platform. The performance of the system will be evaluated in a controlled environment (such as the Texas DOT’s material yard) and based on pre-planned interactions of workers on foot and equipment. The system will also be demonstrated in a real construction project.

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