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Harnessing Mobile Ad Hoc Networks to Improve Vulnerable Road User Safety

Project Information

Project Abstract: 

The project will investigate, implement, and demonstrate a mobile ad hoc network (MANET)-based, practical, infrastructure-free, secure framework that improves the safety of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists in situations when their safety is most threatened (e.g., nonintersection crossings like midblock, lightly lit areas, evening and late-night situations, and jaywalking). The research team plans to demonstrate this framework in Madison, WI through real-time and high-fidelity interactions among vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Among the innovative features of this project are a preemptive predictive model to warn road users (drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists) of potential conflicts or the need for caution, and a secure privacy-cognizant presence exchange, which is a MANET-based service for the exchange of presence messages between road users.

By exchanging messages, vehicles (connected and/or autonomous, or conventional) and other road users will have ample time to react to safety threats, thereby improving safety conditions of all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. The proposed framework will improve the safety of vulnerable road users at nonintersection locations. The framework also will enable the deployment of other CV applications, development of future policies, standards, and guidelines, as well as employment of potentially transformative life-saving technologies that will help us move forward on the road to zero.


1) An open-sourced application that enables communication between different road users, sensing the mode of travel, verification of mobility patterns for message source authentication, and a user interface to display safety information for different users; 2) prediction algorithms for crossing events as a stand-alone library with the corresponding application programming interfaces; 3) demonstration of the framework; 4) publicly available aspects of the mobility datasets after taking into account the privacy-infringing features of the user mobility; and 5) a final report summarizing the research effort.

Project Status: 
Project Funding Amount (Contract Award Amount): 
Start Date: 
Monday, October 1, 2018
End Date: 
Friday, September 30, 2022
Public Access Plan: 
FHWA AMRP Program: 
Exploratory Advanced Research
FHWA Activity: 
Pedestrian / Bicycle

Contact Information

Infrastructure Materials Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: