VA Tech Smart Work Zone Technology Improves Safety for Roadside Workers

Previously deployed in Wise County and in the Northern Virginia area, the Smart Work Zone system includes wearable smart vests for construction workers that accurately transmits their GPS position and predicts potential hazards from passing motorists. A mobile base station then broadcasts work zone information to connected vehicles and uses smart cone devices to automatically define work zone boundaries. This extends the wireless communications link between workers and the base station when they are not in its line of sight.

In partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to improve safety of a construction site at an intersection in Albemarle County, VTTI researchers expanded the system by using the new sensor fusion technology. Using 4G/LTE, otherwise known as wireless data transmission-based technology, the expanded system detects speeding vehicles and triggers an air horn to alert roadside workers of vehicles traveling above the speed limit.