MSU receives $201K grant from Michigan Department of Transportation to conduct research on speed feedback signs

The MSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with SPDC have received funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation to conduct research on the operational cost and benefit of speed feedback signs.

April 10, 2018

Photo of a speed limit sign with a
Example of a "your speed' sign. Photo by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Michigan State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with the School of Planning, Design and Construction have received funding from the Michigan Department of Transportation to conduct research on the operational cost and benefit of speed feedback signs.

Michigan State was awarded a $201K grant for this project, which runs through 2019. The MSU team, led by Timothy Gates from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, includes:

  • Mehrnaz Ghamami from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering;
  • Dong Zhao from the Construction Management Program in the School of Planning, Design and Construction;
  • Ali Zockaie from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; and
  • A team of graduate students.

The purpose of this three-year grant is to evaluate the effectiveness of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs when used as a countermeasure for lane departure events and subsequent crashes when compared to traditional warning signs on interchange ramps.

The study results will provide important guidance to allow MDOT to make informed decisions regarding where Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs may provide additional benefits over the use of traditional signage, in addition to the recommended types of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs and communication technologies.

Achievement of these objectives will provide MDOT with critical information in making decisions related to the procurement and installation of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs on interchange ramps in Michigan.

The research will also inform various safety-related initiatives in Michigan, including future updates of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan, engineering action plans, MDOT safety funding programs, and Toward Zero Deaths initiatives.

It will also provide guidance to other state departments of transportation seeking information related to Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs. The proposed work will ultimately lead to a more effective utilization of scarce highway safety-related financial resources within Michigan.

VR Work Zone Simulation graphic.Dong Zhao from SPDC will investigate the effectiveness of Dynamic Speed Feedback Signs using Virtual Reality Simulation. Zhao and his student will develop a VR-based driving environment and use sensors to record the vehicle’s speed and drivers’ physiological status. Other related factors, such as weather, will be analyzed in the simulation as well. The findings will be used for MDOT to determine strategies for the most effective signs and infrastructure.

For more information about this project, please contact Timothy Gates at gatestim@egr.msu.edu or Dong Zhao at dzhao@msu.edu

Tags: construction management, research

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