The National Academies

NCHRP IDEA 20-30/IDEA 226 [Active (IDEA)]

A Smart IoT Proximity Alert System for Highway Work Zone Safety

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Staff Responsibility: Inam Jawed
Research Agency: Georgia Institute of Technology
Principal Investigator: Yong Cho
Effective Date: 1/1/2021
Fiscal Year: 2020

This project will develop and validate a smart IoT proximity alert system for proactive safety warning at dynamic roadway work zones. Work in Stage 1 will focus on developing and prototyping the proposed system. Both personal and equipment protection units (PPUs and EPUs) will be developed by designing a printed circuit board (PCB) in a small form so that it could be converted to a wristwatch or attached to a safety vest to increase workers’ alert perception. Workers’ feedback will be used to evaluate PPU performance. A mesh network with no single point of failure, simple connectivity, and low power will be developed and investigated in the prototyping stage for an efficient management of the tradeoffs between power consumption and network connectivity. A cloud server system will be developed to collect incident data (e.g., near misses) detected by the PPUs and EPUs. The data will be transferred to the server system from EPUs via the mesh network. The server system will monitor each PPU and EPU, and data analysis reports will be generated from the web server’s interface. In Stage 2, the prototype system will be tested under various real-world field conditions to validate its effectiveness. These tests will be conducted in collaboration with Georgia DOT’s construction and maintenance groups, equipment manufacturers, and general contractors. The system will be continually improved through industry feedback and simulated laboratory tests. Business meetings will be scheduled with potential industry licensees for further development and commercialization. After gaining confidence in the product through a series of systematic tests, industry beta testing and commercialization plan will begin.

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