We're joining forces again with the Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), in addition to DBi Services to advance the development of Automated Truck Mounted Attenuator (ATMA) technology that could take some road operators out of harm’s way in the future.
Providing a crash collision buffer affixed to the back side of a vehicle, truck mounted attenuators (TMAs) are spread out across our work zones to protect workers from high-speed vehicles that could stray accidently into construction areas. TMAs help absorb the crash impact and reduce the inherent risks of working alongside live traffic.
Today’s TMAs require an in-vehicle operator – and while this helps protect work crews – the TMA driver is ultimately at risk. As part of our ongoing investment in connected, automated and emerging technology, the development of an ATMA will enable truck mounted attenuators to operate autonomously, removing the driver and allowing the vehicle to work more efficiently.
Over the coming year, development and testing of ATMA technology will take place at VTTI’s Blacksburg, Virginia campus with trials on the state-of-the-art Virginia Smart Road – a closed test-bed research facility.
The project builds on other work zone safety trials including our recent trials of remotely operated vehicles on the 95 Express Lanes and self-wheeling traffic cones in Australia that could also provide a boost to road safety – both for customers and our employees.