Rural Intersection Safety for Autonomous and Connected Vehicles

Principal Investigator(s):

Rajesh Rajamani, Professor, Chair, Mechanical Engineering


  • Brian Davis, Associate Dir., Mobility Tech. Lab, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

Nearly two-thirds of crashes in Minnesota leading to fatalities or serious injuries occur at rural intersections. The typical sensors on an autonomous vehicle do not have the field-of-view to be able to monitor the trajectories of distant vehicles in cross-traffic and correctly identify vehicle gaps for safely traveling at thru-STOP rural intersections. This project will develop and evaluate a roadside unit that will enable an intersection to communicate with connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) and help them with safely travelling through/at intersections. The key components of the proposed system will include a low-cost (~$170) radar sensor chip and antenna, microprocessor-based software for accurate trajectory tracking of vehicles and an infrastructure-to-vehicle wireless system for communicating with CAVs. The proposed system will help CAVs handle rural intersections safely and efficiently, including those with missing delineation and signage. It can also be combined with recent intelligent intersection warning systems implemented in Minnesota that provide visual alerts to stop/allow safe passage of human driven vehicles at thru-STOP intersections. The proposed system is low-cost and suitable for widespread deployment. Tasks in the seed project include developing comprehensive vehicle tracking algorithms for use at an intersection using a low-cost radar chip, implementing a roadside hardware unit containing all sensors, electronics, and wireless communication hardware, interfacing with the CTS MnCAV vehicle, and a public demonstration of the technology using the MnCAV vehicle at an intersection where the system is deployed.

Project details: