Low-Clearance Vehicle Detection and Warning System

  • Highway Projects

Fulcrum Corporation was tasked to design, fabricate and lab test a prototype system to demonstrate the feasibility of detecting low-clearance vehicles (LCV’s), measuring their clearance and warning drivers if there is a danger of hang up on a a high-vertical-profile (“humped”) railroad crossing in their path. High-profile (or “hump”) crossings present potential safety challenges for motor carriers, buses and automobiles with trailers.  These crossings have vertical alignment profiles that could cause vehicles with long wheelbases and/or low-hanging equipment on the underside of the trailer to hang up on the crossing.  This could lead to a catastrophic crash involving a stuck vehicle and train could cause millions of dollars of damage to property as well as loss of human life.  Although the traffic data gathered by researchers indicate the percentage of low-clearance vehicles is very small, the fact remains that these vehicles get “hung up” at some crossings, particularly at high profile or “humped” crossings.  Hence, there is a need for a detection and warning system for these vehicles that could be installed in the highway a significant distance before the crossing.