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Battelle, COTA Work to Reduce Bus Accidents

Posted on Jul 12, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH., 12 July, 2012– Battelle engineers are working to decrease bus accidents by installing technology onboard, starting with a mid-June demonstration on a vehicle from its hometown transit operator.

Battelle engineers did this with the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), as part of the United States Department of Transportation’s (U.S.DOT) Connected Vehicle research program. The demonstration of the technology illustrated how it could help drivers avoid dangerous situations involving other vehicles that share the road.

The wireless technology, which includes 5.9 GHz dedicated short range communication radios and custom software, detects vehicles ahead of the bus that are braking abruptly and alerts the bus driver of a potential collision. Radios on the bus also transmit messages to other equipped vehicles, alerting them of the bus’ position, speed and heading. These warnings could prevent other vehicles from rear-ending the bus.

Additionally, there are other facets to the technology. In the near future, the COTA bus will be upgraded by Battelle with the ability to detect the presence of pedestrians in a cross walk before the bus enters a signalized intersection, alerting the driver to a potentially unsafe situation.

Battelle also will install technology that allows bus drivers to detect if drivers are trying to go around the bus to make a right turn as the bus proceeds from a bus stop. Such maneuvers are common and can result in a collision between the bus and the passing vehicle. Battelle’s new technology will alert the bus driver of drivers and attempt to predict whether the vehicle will potentially cut off the bus.

Once the technology is tested in Columbus, Battelle will install the technology on three transit buses in Ann Arbor, Michigan to participate in the U.S.DOT-sponsored Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment. The Model Deployment will be a large-scale test of various safety applications on a variety of vehicle types driven by members of the public on public roads.

Beginning in August 2012, the Model Deployment will last for a period of 12 months and is intended to test the effectiveness of the safety applications installed in the test vehicles, and the overall effectiveness of the deployed safety system capability. The Model Deployment will include more than 2,800 light, heavy, and transit vehicles (all equipped with program-developed safety technologies), which will operate in a predefined geographic area in Ann Arbor. The goal of the deployment is to enhance the interaction of such vehicles in a real-world environment, and examine the overall interoperability, scalability, user acceptance, reliability and other implementation issues.

To learn more about the Safety Pilot Model Deployment and the Connected Vehicle research program please visit

About Battelle

As the world’s largest independent research and development organization, Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing needs through its four global businesses:  Laboratory Management; National Security; Health and Life Sciences; and Energy, Environment and Material Sciences. It advances scientific discovery and application by conducting $6.2 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization. 

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including eight national laboratories for which Battelle has a significant management role on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the United Kingdom.

Battelle also is one of the nation’s leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

Media Contacts

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or, or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or



Media Contacts

Katy Delaney
Director, Media Relations
Office: 1.614.424.7208

T.R. Massey

Senior Media Specialist
Office: 1.614.424.5544