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ATSSA and Automotive Safety Council share award from TU-Automotive

Duo wins Collaborative Partnership of the Year Award

ATSSA and the Automotive Safety Council (ASC) this week received the Collaborative Partnership of the Year Award from TU-Automotive during a virtual ceremony.

The award recognizes two or more companies that “have undertaken a meaningful, non-commercial partnership with the objective of advancing the development and/or adoption of automotive technology” for the period between Jan. 1, 2019 and Feb. 19, 2020.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner and ASC President Doug Campbell accepted the award on behalf of their respective associations.

TU-Automotive, formerly known as Telematics Update, provides news and analysis focused on the connected and autonomous vehicle industry.

“When the Automotive Safety Council first approached us nearly three years ago to explore how we could work together to improve the functionality and effectiveness of [advanced driver-assistance systems] and autonomous vehicle technologies, we were all in,” Tetschner said in accepting the award on behalf of ATSSA. “We had been wanting to find a way to participate in preparing the infrastructure for the coming new mobility of current human driven ADAS equipped vehicles and future autonomous vehicles.

“After attending each other’s annual convention meetings and having subcommittee presentations, we formed a joint committee in March 2019 to explore how something as simple as pavement markings on highways were being used by automotive safety suppliers and if those markings could be changed to improve the functionality of the technology.”

He noted that pavement markings as well as all other roadway infrastructure are controlled by the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), which is issued by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

“Our goal was to have any proposed changes incorporated into the MUTCD as it is used by all 50 states for managing their highways,” Tetschner said.

Campbell, whose association has been the leading Tier 1, 2 and 3 automotive safety supplier since 1962, said the collaborative project involved sharing the capability of machine vision cameras that allow lane-keeping functions to perform on vehicles and how pavement markings influence their decision making.

The goal of the duo’s May 2019 joint proposals was to improve the safe operation of SAE Level 1-5 machine-vision technologies. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved the wording and then the National Committee unanimously approved the amendment of MUTCD Part 3 to require the following:

  • All interstate, freeway and expressway minimum normal pavement marking widths shall be six inches with a wide minimum of 10 inches;
  • dotted edge line extensions are required at all exit ramps;
  • the recommended length of a broken line increased from 10 feet to 15 feet with a 25-foot gap between lines; and
  • edge line widths are now six inches on roadways with a posted speed of 55 mph or more.

“While these changes may seem minor, they eliminated the exit marking confusion by standardizing markings that previously were optional and provided new marking requirements,” Campbell said. “Machine vision-equipped vehicles will be able to see the road direction from further away, allowing directional certainty sooner and be able to follow intended roadway paths with better accuracy.

“The proposed changes will provide consistency in pavement markings from state to state that currently do not exist. Additionally, these new standardized markings will allow more roadways to be read successfully and more road miles used by ADAS-equipped vehicles and future AVs.”

Campbell said ASC is now working on traffic signals, signs and construction zone standards.

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