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Transit Safety


The new authorization, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) gives FTA significant new authority to strengthen the safety of public transportation systems throughout the United States. The FTA is seeking exploratory proposals that will demonstrate innovative, economical and durable technologies and devices or solutions that will improve and revolutionize the safety of public transportation and the riding public. The innovations in public transportation or transit must pertain to and be adaptable to existing heavy rail, commuter rail, light rail, buses, ferries, and streetcars. Project proposals must include a methodology on how it will use data to quantitatively demonstrate that their recommended technology innovations can truly improve or provide confidence for commuters and operators to trust and use a safe transit system. The subtopics could range from improved passenger safety, vehicle safety, road/track safety to service reliability. Sub-topic example: Impaired Operator Detector - The goal of this research is to develop a prototype impaired-operator detector that bridges the gap between current (first-generation, impairment-specific) devices and the ideal impaired-operator detector described below. An ideal impaired-operator detector would have the following attributes: 1. Instantly detects any type of impaired operation across all conditions and operators; 2. Correctly detects 100% of impaired operations (sensitivity) and correctly rejects 100% of unimpaired operations (specificity); 3. Unobtrusive, automatic functioning (e.g., nothing for the operator to wear or do differently); Expected Phase I Outcomes: a. A viable concept that demonstrates the technology or solution in a vehicle, facility or operation in a transit environment to improve transit safety to achieve the following: (1) reduce the number of transit-related fatalities and the severity of transit-related injuries, (2) increase the knowledge about human/machine interface and reduce potential safety-related incidents b. Efficient and low cost technology c. Modular, interoperable, plug and play and open source (if applicable) device d. Technology assessment with respect to industry best practices e. Feasibility analysis (data proven) for success in developing a working prototype Expected Phase II Outcomes: Phase II efforts include manufacturing and demonstrating a working prototype of the technology and device or solution with all of the above listed Phase I outcomes.
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