Automated Driving Systems (ADS) for Rural America
ADS for Rural America is a project that is testing the use of automated driving technologies on high-speed, rural roadways to examine and understand the unique needs of rural environments, while working toward solutions that improve safety and mobility.
1. Improve safety on our nation’s roadways with the integration of Automated Driving Systems (ADS). ADS technologies show promise of greater safety on our roadways by preventing crashes.
2. Represent rural roadways in AV research. Rural roads present unique challenges:
- Sharp curves and grades
- Limited sight distances
- Gravel, unpaved roads without lane markings
- Slow-moving vehicles on the road, such as farm equipment
- Animals on the road
- Extreme weather conditions
Due to the complexity of rural environments, most AV testing and mapping has been focused on urban, clearly‐marked roads. We're doing rural testing for rural solutions.
3. Broaden mobility: Show how automated vehicles can provide transportation options for those not able to drive, such as aging populations and those with disabilities. We aim to connect those people in rural areas to the services they need. Since public transportation is often scarce or non-existent in rural areas, mobility means independence and can significantly improve quality of life.
While 19% of Americans live in rural areas, nearly 50% of traffic fatalities occur on rural roads.
This $7 million project is funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and is spearheaded by researchers at the Driving Safety Research Institute at the University of Iowa.