May 2020
Drowsy driving isn’t easily observable, and there are no tools to detect it. Because of such factors, it’s believed to be underreported and to have a much greater impact than we think. To better understand and address the problems of drowsy driving, researchers at the U’s HumanFIRST Laboratory designed a study that aimed to find an objective test (or set of tests) that law enforcement officers could quickly and easily administer to identify fatigue during traffic stops.
U of M researchers provided a comprehensive and practical evaluation of what the Minnesota Department of Transportation would need to do to develop wastewater reuse systems for its truck stations and rest areas. Two MnDOT truck facilities will soon become more eco-friendly as a result of the findings. The need for this project was surprising but real: despite Minnesota’s abundance of water resources, 75 percent of the state’s water comes from aquifers used at increasingly unsustainable rates.
Minnesota road crews may soon have a better way to battle potholes, as U of M researchers work to further refine an innovative, quick pothole repair method for both concrete and asphalt pavements. The new repair method is based on a plentiful Minnesota material—taconite—that can be applied fairly quickly and shows promise as a cost-competitive, long-term solution for potholes.
Waymo and Uber have started trials of shared autonomous vehicle (SAV) service in several US cities. Without the expense of drivers, autonomous service could one day make the cost of a ride so low that people choose SAVs for their daily transportation needs instead of owning a vehicle. As a result, the efficiency of SAV systems, particularly in terms of matching shared vehicles to customers, could become highly important. To shed light on the challenges and possibilities, U of M researchers developed a dispatch model that would provide optimal throughput for SAVs.