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Wrong Way Driver (WWD) Detection Systems

Wrong Way Driver (WWD) Detection Systems

What are Wrong Way Driver (WWD) Detection Systems?

WWD Detection Systems use a customizable “kit” of tools to detect and track WWDs, trigger notifications, and stream CCTV feeds.


More about Wrong Way Driver (WWD) Detection Systems

IV creates a virtual world in which to model projects accurately in 3D, then render videos and images as well as immersive visualizations to create interactive simulation products. IV models are built from existing and proposed data, including agency design files (i.e., a Microstation roadway surface), while a game engine powers real-time presentation. When optimized with adjacent infrastructure to produce performance simulation, touch screen kiosks and virtual reality (VR) applications can provide a virtual helicopter tour over a proposed project, for instance.

Project NEON, Nevada's largest and most expensive public works project ever, was the catalyst for the initiative. IV helped convey complex planning and design scenarios to the public while helping project development personnel identify and resolve design and construction challenges, such as site impacts and right of way, geometric, and line-of-sight issues. IV products allowed the traveling public, homeowners, and businesses to see the potential impact of the project on their interests, while addressing their concerns and those of regulatory agencies about safety and environmental impact. As a result, IV vastly enhanced interagency coordination, regulatory review, and approval.

IV supplies much more freedom of camera movement than typical state-of-the-practice project visualizations, which provide views from specific angles. That enables non-outreach products like technical clarity visuals, graphics for related legal cases, landscaping details, and more. While conventional visualizations render various images for delivery via video files from which models are constructed for a given purpose, rapid, real time rendering through IV’s game engine technology eliminates the need to remodel, bringing its overall cost in line with traditional 3D visualization.

Wrong Way Driver (WWD) Detection Systems

Per research conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an average of 360 people is killed each year in Wrong Way Driver (WWD) crashes. Although WWD crashes occur relatively infrequently, accounting for only about 3 percent of accidents on high-speed divided highways, they are much more likely to result in severe and fatal injuries than other types of crashes. As a result, highway agencies are implementing WWD Detection Systems to prevent incidents caused by wrong-way driving.

WWD Detection Systems use a customizable “kit” of tools to detect and track WWDs, trigger notifications, and stream CCTV feeds from supporting cameras to the traffic operations center (TOC) where operators activate countermeasures. Practitioners can use a variety of elements and customize them to work within various roadway configurations, existing infrastructure (software and physical) and budgets to reduce WWD crashes.

Some potential elements of the kit of tools may include:

  • Detection cameras (thermal, radar, infrared)
  • Interface with TOC/TMC systems
  • Interface with dynamic message systems (DMS) or other signage for driver alerts
  • Specialized, illuminated and reflective signage and striping treatments
  • Integration with ramp sensors and traffic signals
  • Additional cameras for tracking
  • Interface with law enforcement

With a thoughtfully-designed, customized kit of elements, agencies can implement a WWD detection system to affect a reduction of WWD crashes by detecting WWDs early which can result in a reduced number of crashes or reduced severity of accidents.


Arizona Department of Transportation’s Wrong Way Driver Detection System Earns National Coverage

Detection and Warning Systems for Wrong-Way Driving

Florida DOT’s Wrong Way Driving Initiative​

I-17 Thermal-Camera System Reliable in Detecting Wrong-Way Vehicles​

North Carolina Department of Transportation Highlights Wrong Way Driver Detection System

Wrong-Way Driving Special Investigation Report

Wrong-Way Driving Taxonomy and Implementation Considerations Tech​nical Brief

Wrong-way Vehicle Detection: Proof of Concept​


Martin C. Lauber, PE, TE
Transportation Engineer Manager
Arizona Department of Transportation
Phone: 602-712-2229

George Villareal, PE
Deputy Director Traffic Operations Division
Texas Department of Transportation
Phone: 512-416-3135

Steven Pristawa, PE
State Traffic Safety Engineer
Rhode Island Department of Transportation
Phone: 401-563-4207

Andy Lelewski, PE
Director of Toll Operations
North Carolina Turnpike Authority
Phone: 919-707-2714

Raj Ponnaluri, PhD, PE, PTOE, PMP
Connected Vehicles and Arterial Management Engineer
Florida Department of Transportation
Phone: 850-410-5616