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Center for Transportation Studies

Programs & Labs

Driver-Assist Systems

Driver-assist systems developed by the ITS Institute aim to increase driver safety in difficult driving conditions through the use of vehicle-guidance and collision-avoidance technologies. The driver-assist systems combine centimeter-level differential global positioning systems (DGPS), high-accuracy digital mapping systems, vehicle-mounted sensors, a windshield head-up display (HUD), a virtual mirror, and haptic and tactile feedback. These systems help drivers operate more safely and efficiently, even in heavy traffic or low-visibility conditions. 

Bus Rapid Transit 

On 296 miles of Twin Cities-area roadways, bus drivers are allowed to operate their vehicles on shoulder lanes to avoid rush-hour traffic congestion. Shoulder operation provides faster, more reliable services to passengers, but maneuvering buses in narrow shoulder lanes is often challenging for drivers. The Institute's driver-assist technology has been used to support the operation of bus rapid transit (BRT) routes on bus-only road shoulders or in dedicated bus lanes throughout the Twin Cities. The system monitors a bus’s position on the roadway and provides visual and tactile alerts to quickly deliver critical information to the driver.

Snowplows and Specialty Vehicles

Driver-assist technology developed by the ITS Institute has also been used on snowplows and other specialty vehicles, including patrol cars, ambulances, and heavy vehicles. Numerous vehicles using the driver-assist system have been deployed in both Minnesota and Alaska to help plow and other vehicle operators keep an eye on the road—even in locations where high snowfall rates and blowing snow routinely create whiteout conditions.