Engineers develop inexpensive, smart stop sign to improve driver safety

It's dark on the backroad as a motorist speeds toward the intersection. Up ahead, the stop sign blends with the night and in seconds a deadly crash occurs. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than half of all roadway fatalities occur on rural roads. Now engineers at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) are building and testing a low-cost, self-powered thermal system that will detect vehicles, improve the visibility of stop signs and prevent deaths.
Stop signs on rural roads are difficult to notice, and this leads to dangerous accidents, said Ayetullah Biten, a doctoral candidate in the UTSA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Rural roads account for 70 percent of the nation's byways and the location for 54 percent of all fatalities, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

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