The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of College Planning & Management magazine.

Contest Challenges Transportation Students to Improve Roadway Safety

FREDERICKSBURG, VA – The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) has announced a “Traffic Control Device Challenge” in partnership with the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board (TRB), a program unit of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The challenge will focus on how America’s roadway system must change to accommodate both human and “machine” drivers. The challenge is designed to promote innovation and stimulate ideas regarding traffic control devices with a goal to improve safety on the nation’s roadways. Eligible participants are individual high school, community college, college, graduate students, and teams of students with an interest in transportation.

“As we see connected and automated vehicles become a reality, we need to keep in mind that there will be a mix of human and machine drivers for some time to come. It will take time to turn over our nationwide fleet of vehicles and even more advances in technology will be made. We need to plan to keep all vehicles and drivers safe. Our goal is zero fatalities on our nation’s roadways,” says ATSSA Chairwoman Deb Ricker.

Submissions to the contest must be an original design or modification of an industry-accepted design or product. Special panels of TRB experts will then judge entries based on the ability of the idea to address a specific roadway problem, how easily all road users can understand it, its applicability on a nationwide basis and its feasibility for implementation. The deadline for submissions is October 1, 2016.

Up to 12 finalists will be invited to display their ideas at the 2017 TRB annual meeting in Washington, DC in early 2017. From those, first, second and third place winners will be selected to present their concepts to the roadway safety industry at ATSSA’s Annual Convention and Traffic Expo in Phoenix, AZ, from February 12-14, 2017.

“We’re really looking forward to working with ATSSA to generate new ideas to make our roadways safe and efficient for a mix of today’s vehicles and the automated vehicles of the near future,” says Dr. Paul Carlson, of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. Carlson chairs TRB’s Standing Committee on Traffic Control Devices where the TCD Challenge idea originated.

Interested students who wish to participate can find an application packet at tti.tamu.edu

ATSSA’s core purpose is to advance roadway safety. ATSSA represents the roadway safety industry with effective legislative advocacy and a far-reaching member partnership. The association also leads the nation in work zone safety training and education for roadway workers across the country. ATSSA members accomplish the advancement of roadway safety through the design, manufacture and installation of roadway safety and traffic control devices.

The mission of the TRB is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary and multimodal.

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