All posts by mndotresearch

New Project: Influence of Autonomous and Partially Autonomous Vehicles on Minnesota Roads

As autonomous vehicles (AVs) become increasingly more numerous on roadways, they have the potential to substantially alter traffic flow. New vehicles today have many driver-assisting (or SAE Level 1) features—such as adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, collision avoidance, emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance—which still require a hands-on driver. However, as technology advances toward eventual SAE Level 4 automation, vehicles will be able to function without drivers, which will likely change the shape of traffic flow.

Continue reading New Project: Influence of Autonomous and Partially Autonomous Vehicles on Minnesota Roads

Evaluating Pavement Thickness With 3D Ground-Penetrating Radar

Building on previous MnDOT-sponsored work, researchers have developed a nondestructive method of assessing pavement thickness using 3D ground-penetrating radar (GPR). A vehicle equipped with an array of transmitting and receiving antenna pairs travels at traffic speed collecting full-width GPR data for analysis, minimizing the amount of pavement coring required.

Continue reading Evaluating Pavement Thickness With 3D Ground-Penetrating Radar

Improved In-Vehicle Lane Departure Warning System Approaches Commercial Use

Using an earlier lane departure warning system (LDWS) that employs standard GPS data rather than expensive cameras or maps, Minnesota researchers have enhanced and refined the system, moving closer to an affordable product to warn drivers about dangerous lane drift and approaching curves. 

Continue reading Improved In-Vehicle Lane Departure Warning System Approaches Commercial Use

Separated Bike Lanes: Filling the Gaps in Design Guidance

In recent years, many U.S. cities have been installing separated bicycle lanes (SBLs) as part of their nonmotorized transportation networks. SBLs are bicycle pathways that employ paint and a vertical element as a buffer to separate motor vehicle traffic from bicycle traffic. They reduce crash risk, increase safety and comfort, and encourage more people to use bicycles as transportation. 

Continue reading Separated Bike Lanes: Filling the Gaps in Design Guidance

Stormwater Bioslope Site Monitoring Continues Using Local Filter Media

MnDOT and local agencies control stormwater runoff from roadways through a range of settlement, filtration and infiltration facilities, such as wet ponds, infiltration basins, trenches and swales. Infiltration facilities have been used for more than 30 years, but a high rate of failure has been tied to inaccurate determination of soil infiltration rates. Researchers developed new tools and protocols to provide designers and engineers with the accurate infiltration measures they need, from initial site selection through construction. These tools and methods will support the development of successful stormwater infiltration facilities along Minnesota roadways.

Continue reading Stormwater Bioslope Site Monitoring Continues Using Local Filter Media

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.

Continue reading MnDOT Prepares to Use Future Vehicle-to-Vehicle Messaging

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.

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

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. 

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