Implementation of Online Training Modules to Rail Learning System

SPONSOR: FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION (FRA)

PI:  Pasi Lautala

The proposed activities will enable the FRA’s Office of Safety and Office of R&D to utilize the RLS as a platform for internal FRA training offered to both new and current employees. Offering training online will increase flexibility in obtaining the necessary skills required to effectively perform essential job functions, and save on travel expenses currently incurred for this type of training.  In addition, the proposal increases the amount of openly available education modules by incorporating the Railroading 101 modules developed by the FRA, as well as newly recorded versions of the 2016 Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) modules. The proposal will also provide technical support in using the modules and continuing monitoring and support of the system throughout the project duration. Continue reading “Implementation of Online Training Modules to Rail Learning System”

Driver Behavior at Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Using NDS and Driving Simulation

SPONSOR:  FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION (FRA)

PI:  Pasi Lautala 

Project Period:  09.09.16-09.18.17

According to the USDOT Federal Railroad Administration, highway-rail grade crossing and trespasser fatalities still account for 96 percent of all rail-related deaths.  A review of accident causes reveals that one of the main accident factors is human driving behavior.

One of the potential approaches to improve drivers’ behavior at crossings is to systematically examine their actions and use the outcomes to develop alternative methods or approaches to decrease the probability of missing or ignoring warnings.  The Naturalistic Driving Study (NDS) approach, using in-vehicle video and other sensors to directly observe drivers during normal driving activities, is a technique that shows promise toward improved understanding of driver actions in the crossings.

This two-year project is divided into two phases with an overall objective to investigate driver behavior at highway-rail grade crossings using two distinct, but complimentary techniques.  Phase I will use data collected under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) Naturalistic Driving Study to look at how normal drivers react at crossings in every day driving situations.  Phase II will use the understanding developed in the first phase to create scenarios that resemble environments similar to those found in the NDS for use in our driver simulator environment.  The research will look for two basic results.  First, we will develop and use the organized NDS crossing database to examine behavioral trends at the crossings. Second, we will compare driver behavior in the simulator with that found in the NDS data to determine the level of correlation between the two environments.   Our hypothesis is that a strong correlation would allow us to outline how to use the simulator environment in the future to predict driver response to a variety of crossing parameters.

Pasi Lautala
Pasi Lautala
Myounghoon Jeon
Myounghoon Jeon
Dave Nelson
Dave Nelson

 

Eastern Regional Tribal Technical Assistance Program

SPONSOR:  FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION (FHWA)

PI:  John Velat

The Eastern Region Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) at Michigan Tech collaborates with the Federal Highway Association (FHWA) to conduct transportation technology transfer, training, technical assistance, and distribution of technical and program information originating primarily from the FHWA, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), state departments of transportation (DOTs) tribal DOTs, tribal governments and intertribal organizations. The objectives of this program are to provide training, technical assistance, technology transfer, and information exchange in the following areas for American Indian Tribal Governments in the Midwestern and Eastern BIA regions in a culturally appropriate manner: 1) Intergovernmental transportation planning, project selection, tourism and recreational travel, and safety; 2) Infrastructure management (e.g. low volume roads, safety/drainage/pavements, gravel road maintenance, work zone safety); 3) Transportation management systems for enhanced performance (e.g. safety, bridge, pavement and congestion); 4) Transportation program or project management under self-determination contracts, self-governance compacts, and FHWA or BIA programmatic agreements; 5) Development of the capacity of tribal transportation departments to establish and deliver transportation programs (e.g. administrative, management skills, reporting, procurement, and financial systems); and 6) Development and maintenance of a communication network on technical transportation issues and current FHWA and BIA initiatives (e.g. Every Day Counts, Strategic Highway Research Program) among tribal governments, Federal and State and local transportation agencies, and others as appropriate.

http://www.ttap.mtu.edu/

John Velat
John Velat