Audible Attenuator

Project Details



17-643, 21-761






Iowa Department of Transportation

Principal Investigator
Neal Hawkins

Associate Director, InTrans

Co-Principal Investigator
Skylar Knickerbocker

Research Engineer, REACTOR

Co-Principal Investigator
Anuj Sharma

Research Scientist and Leader, REACTOR

Co-Principal Investigator
Christopher Day

Affiliate Researcher, CTRE

Co-Principal Investigator
Jing Dong-O'Brien

Transportation Engineer, CTRE

Co-Principal Investigator
Zachary Hans

Director, CWIMS

About the research

This project is part of the main Iowa Department of Transportation-sponsored project, “Iowa DOT Operations Division Cooperative Autonomous Transportation (CAT) Research Support.”

This project provides funding for CTRE support to the Iowa DOT Operations Division specific to Cooperative Automated Transportation (CAT) research, applications, data analytics, demonstrations, and discovery. This work is focused to support Iowa DOTs vision of delivering a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system by developing a supportive digitally connected driving environment.

The objective of this task is to seek out if there are existing products on the market, or products that could be modified, to automate the alerting system.

The Iowa DOT currently uses an audible warning system with their attenuator setup. However, the system must be activated manually by the attenuator driver looking in their rear-view mirror. This is a two-stage process where lights are flashed first and if the vehicle continues to approach the truck, nor change lanes, a very loud beeping sound is broadcasted.

To date, CTRE has completed a literature review of similar systems and held numerous conversations with industry. This includes sharing DOT needs and existing equipment capabilities (power, mounting, electrical, etc.) with a number of companies of which at least two were considering building or modifying a suitable device.

Depending on industry response and DOT direction, FY21 efforts could include purchase of several units for evaluation in terms of function, practicality, and costs. The DOT staff lead is Donna Matulac with support from John Hart.