All posts by mndotresearch

MnDOT Prepares to Use Future Vehicle-to-Vehicle Messaging

Manufacturers are developing vehicles that can “talk” to each other. “Connected vehicles” will be able to convey their position, speed and acceleration. Sending this information to other vehicles and relevant infrastructure is expected to enhance highway safety, but it also may help transportation agencies better manage traffic.

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New Project: Identifying and Optimizing Electric Vehicle Corridor Charging Infrastructure for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Trucks

Transportation is the number one emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota and medium to heavy duty trucks contribute to about 40% of transportation carbon pollution.

While electric cars and buses are becoming more common, medium and heavy duty electric trucks are still in their infancy, and the nationwide infrastructure needs to support them still has to be determined.

In a new study, MnDOT will identify the electric charging infrastructure needed along Minnesota highway corridors to support clean freight transportation.

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New Project: Understanding How the Disparate Effects of COVID-19 are Affecting MnDOT’s Efforts at Equitable Contracting

MnDOT’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program was established by the federal government to ensure women-owned and minority-owned businesses have the opportunity to participate in MnDOT contracts.

Several contracting barriers exist for DBEs, which may have been exacerbated by COVID-19, such as access to capital, a shortage of PPE materials and staffing shortfalls due to workplace risks and caregiving responsibilities. 

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New Project: Telecommuting During COVID-19: How Does It Shape the Future Workplace and Workforce?

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees in both the public and private sectors have begun telecommuting. The resulting reduction in commuting hours and miles traveled on state highways has been staggering.

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New Project: COVID-19 Impacts on Speed and Safety for Rural Roads and Work Zones

Although Minnesotans drove significantly less in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a substantial increase in fatal motor vehicle crashes.  MnDOT Traffic Safety Engineer Derek Leuer and his colleagues want to know why, particularly in rural areas where fatalities and injury rates were higher. 

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Improving Winter Road Weather Alerts on Highway Dynamic Message Signs

MnDOT maintains nearly 400 dynamic message signs (DMS) along Minnesota highways that display real-time information to warn motorists of roadway incidents, construction or congestion ahead that could pose a hazard or cause delay. DMS use to convey weather alerts has been limited to blizzards and other very isolated winter conditions. MnDOT has been concerned about the timeliness of weather messages and the chance that such messages could be overused, possibly leading motorists to take them less seriously. 

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