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Autonomous TMA Truck to Provide Insights to TDOT for Improving Work Zone Safety

| November 6, 2019

The self-driving ATMA truck takes safety to the next level by eliminating the need for a driver to sit behind the wheel of a truck that was literally designed to be hit

Royal Truck & Equipment Inc. announced today that it will support the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in providing an autonomous truck mounted attenuator (ATMA) truck to the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research for a pilot demonstration.  The pilot aims to test and evaluate the potential for an autonomous system to improve work zone safety across the state.

The first-of-its kind work zone vehicle was developed by Royal Truck & Equipment and Kratos Defense and has been successfully used by other DOTs over the past 2 years. TMA trucks are typically positioned behind road construction crews to protect workers from distracted or impaired drivers in the event of an impact.  The self-driving ATMA truck takes safety to the next level by eliminating the need for a driver to sit behind the wheel of a truck that was literally designed to be hit.

“We’re very excited and honored to support TDOT and the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research in their efforts and research of autonomous work zone vehicles to help improve the safety of highway workers,” says Rob Roy, President of Royal Truck & Equipment.

The ATMA improves safety by:

  • Eliminating the need for a TMA driver, which keeps a would-be driver out of harm’s way
  • Providing protection to the lead vehicle by ensuring the TMA stays on course as opposed to human instinct for self-preservation that results in changing course to avoid impact
  • Avoiding the potential for a secondary impact to the lead vehicle by maintaining a proper buffer distance with precision and accuracy

The pilot will start with a live demonstration of the ATMA vehicle on November 4th and 5th from 8am to 4pm starting at I-840 in Dickson County and includes simulation of stop-and-go activities such as pothole patching, herbicide spraying, and roadside trash collection.  Afterwards, the vehicle will make an appearance at TDOT’s 15th Annual Safety & Operations Conference in Franklin on November 6th.  The last stop for the ATMA truck will be the Traffic Incident Management facility on November 7th and 8th.

Category: AUTONOMOUS, Connected Fleet News, Equipment, Featured, General Update, News

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