Innovation Portal

2018 DENSO Road Safety Engineering Design Challenge


Road to zero Coalition Members

A national competition for US students in grades 9-12 enrolled in PLTW Engineering courses. Teams will be between 2-4 students.


According to the World Health Organization, road accidents kill 1.25 million people and injury millions more. In the United States, 37,461 lives were lost on US roads in 2016, which was an increase from 2015.  (NHTSA) Without a comprehensive strategy to address infrastructure, vehicle technology and behavior, these preventable deaths and injuries will continue to rise on an annual basis.

For teens, the situation is even more critical. The number one cause of deaths for teens is preventable vehicle crashes. More than half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating high school. (National Safety Council)

There are many known solutions to the problem.  Seat belts are known to reduce the risk of death by 45% and cut the risk of serious injuries by 50% for drivers and front-seat passengers.  (CDC)  Compared to a two-way stop controlled intersection, a roundabout reduces the severe crashes by 82% (FHWA).  In 2015, 3,477 people lost their lives as a result of distracted driving. (NHTSA)

Your challenge is to develop an engineering based solution to address a road safety problem. The problem could be a broad vehicle based issue (like distracted driving) or a local concern (i.e.  a crash prone intersection).  Student will have the opportunity to collaborate with road safety professions during the development of their project.  

Submissions will be evaluated utilizing the Engineering Design Rubrics by a team of judges.

Partnering Organizations


  • National Safety Council

  • Reach out to Road to Zero coalition for mentors/judges


  • Competition posted on Innovation Portal in portal by May 4th
  • Team registration open from May 4th  through October 4th
  • Submission will be accepted from October 22nd  through November 21st
  • Judging window occurs between November 26th through December 12th
  • Competition results announced the week of December 17th


First Place:

  • $5,000 grant to school
  • Plaque to school
  • Letter of recognition to students

Second Place:

  • $2,500 grant to school
  • Plaque to school
  • Letter of recognition to students

Third Place:

  • $1,000 grant to school
  • Plaque to school
  • Letter of recognition to students

All remaining teams:

  • Letter of recognition to students

How to participate

1. Create your own Innovation Portal account at

  1. 2. Register your interest for the competition by clicking the “Register button”

  2. 3. Create a new portfolio, connect your portfolio with all of your partners and use the embedded element rubrics and scored examples to build a great entry

  3. 4. During the submission window, submit your completed portfolio into the 2018 DENSO Road Safety Engineering Competition

  4. 5. The status of your entry, the competition and competition results will be reported back to you via the email address associated with your Innovation Portal account.

  5. If you have questions regarding this competition, email: [email protected]

General Restrictions

Students must be at least 13 years of age to enter the competition.

Opportunity Terms & Conditions

Terms and Conditions...

Please Note: All projects submitted to this competition will remain the intellectual property of the individual or team; however by entering the competition the individual/team understands and gives the organizers of this competition permission to develop and distribute the story about the projects, the students and their schools in order to promote the impact of competition and highlight the value of the project work. Effort will be taken to describe the project in general and without offering any details related to intellectual property concerns.

PLTW Terms & Conditions

I understand that by submitting this work to an opportunity or competition hosted on the Innovation Portal that the submitted copy of work will be in the control of the hosting organization and is subject to the terms and conditions that organization has posted for entry requirements and conditions.