National Rural ITS Research Programme

Over the last five years, the University of New Brunswick Transportation Group (UNBTG) has been working with the New Brunswick Department of Transportation and Transport Canada to conduct rural ITS research under a $1 million federal/provincial cost-shared Truck-Mounted Radar Speed Displaycontribution agreement.  The program’s goal was to identify innovative and previously unproven technologies for improving rural transportation systems.  The program has produced 10 research projects and contributed to the development of highly-qualified-personnel (HQP) including two MScE graduate theses, and involved direct participation from several other engineering graduate students.  It also supported knowledge growth in the local engineering consulting community. The resulting research networks and professional collaborations that developed in the domain of rural transportation technology present significant opportunities for continued and expanded partnerships in the future.

Projects Listing

  • Use of a radar display to manage vehicle speeds in highway work zones
  • Testing a cost effective electronic device to identify railway track switch position from a train
  • Testing and development of a low-cost alternative to highway-railway level crossing warning systems
  • Development of a plan to coordinate the deployment of ITS technology to help Commercial Vehicle Operations (CVO) efficiency in the province
  • Phase 1: New Brunswick traveller information needs assessment
  • Phase 2: New Brunswick traveller information needs assessment
  • Collection and analysis of pavement condition information using digital video and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Review of remote emissions sensing technology
  • Research platform for spring weight restriction technology
  • In-Vehicle Technology Assessment (Winter Road Conditions)

While the final projects under the Canada-New Brunswick Bilateral Agreement for Rural ITS Research are wrapping up, the UNBTG has been working with Transport Canada to identify the next steps for Rural ITS research in Canada.  Even though it is still early in the intelligence gathering stage, it is envisioned that future research efforts will involve a holistic approach employing cross-disciplinary partnerships and national and international collaboration.  This approach will focus on the use of state-of-the-art wireless communicationsHardware for Low-Cost Grade Crossing Warning System to support rural and low-density transportation safety, efficiency and mobility applications.  Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration (VII) and Vehicle-Infrastructure Cooperation (VIC) are two cutting edge approaches that are demonstrating excellent potential to address safety, efficiency and mobility challenges in rural areas.  For example, wireless communications technology has the potential to provide low-cost and reliable in-vehicle motorist warnings of trains approaching passive or farm grade crossings, yet no test-bed in North America exists to test this concept.

The final UNBTG report will be complete in 2009 and will hopefully lead to the development of a centre of expertise and test-bed in Vehicle-Infrastructure-Cooperation for Rural and Low-Density for Transportation Safety, Efficiency and Mobility Applications.  This initiative can become a focal point for regional, national and international collaborative research and development efforts in rural and low-density ITS, which can include applications in the most rural of locations to smaller municipal areas.

Click Here for the Rural ITS Research Programme project posters.

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