Warning system shows potential for alleviating crashes at dangerous rural intersections

From the University of Wisconsin, a note about ongoing research states that:  “In 2005, more than 9,200 Americans died in intersection crashes, and nearly half of those crashes occurred at rural intersections,” quoting Madhav Chitturi, an assistant researcher in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory.  The note describes the solution being examined:

“Developed at the University of Minnesota Intelligent Vehicle Lab, the Rural Intersection Collision Avoidance System aims to avoid these crashes by giving real-time warnings about unsafe gaps to drivers crossing the primary traffic stream.

“The system is comprised of three components: sensing, computation and electronic message signs. Sensors on the main road determine the position, speed and lane of travel for vehicles approaching the intersection. The computation system collects data from the sensor, computes vehicle trajectories and assesses crash threats. This threat assessment yields three states in the system: inactive, which means there is no traffic threat; alert, which means there are conditions that require careful consideration; and warning, a situation in which drivers should avoid dangerous maneuvers. As determined by the computational system, the electronic message sign relays those relevant alerts and warnings to a driver waiting at an intersection.”