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Mid-America Transportation Center

Virtual Barriers for Mitigating and Preventing Run-off Road Crashes – Phase II


University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Principal Investigator
Cody Stolle
PI Contact Information
Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided
USDOT: $159,390
NDOT: $195,088
Total Project Cost
$ 354,478
Agency ID or Contract Number
Start Date
End Date
Brief Description of Research Project
Run-off-road (ROR) crashes result in over 10,000 deaths, hundreds of thousands of injuries, and cost billions of dollars annually, which are borne by the U.S. taxpayers. Some ROR crashes could be prevented with advanced forms of driver-assist technologies. A Virtual Barrier system is proposed, which wirelessly communicates the road geometry and optimal travel path to vehicles. The Virtual Barrier system would consist of a network of sensors and radios that interact with vehicle radios and broadcasting road coordinates. The vehicle guidance systems can then determine if current travel conditions (direction and velocity) are conducive for to remain within the lane. Vehicles which are equipped with “smart” guidance devices, such as electronically-assisted steering, throttle, and braking, may be able to prevent roadside departures from occurring, and vehicles which are not equipped with these Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) may issue audible or tactile warnings if ROR departures are predicted. Once implemented, the Virtual Barrier system should result in ROR crash reduction of approximately 50%, which could save approximately 5,000 lives per year.
Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation
Web Links
Modal Orientation
  • Autonomous
  • Barriers
  • Safety and Human Performance
  • Systems