DOT to Give $42mil of Next Gen Tech to Three Cities
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced the three states that it selected from a competition for its new Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx stated New York City, Tampa, Fl and Wyoming will each received part of a cool $42 million to pilot next-generation technology for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications.
The program is a communication system for vehicles and infrastructure, sharing anonymous info between the two in real time. This will allow for a reduction in traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as an 80% reduction in the unimpaired vehicle crash rates. The program hopes to revolutionize the way motorists and pedestrians get to work, to appointments and the like by providing the best possible knowledge of current road conditions, including bottlenecks, and accidents. The system could relieve the everyday stress incurred from highway accidents and make driving safer and more efficient.
“Today’s announcement is a big step forward for the future of how we move in this country, from our rural communities to our biggest cities,” said Foxx. “It has been a core mission of the Department to support promising new technologies, and through these types of smart investments we are opening the door to a safer and cleaner network and expanding how future generations travel.”
New York’s plan for it’s $20 million includes equipping up to 10,000 city-owned vehicles that travel heavily in Midtown Manhattan with Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) technology, including cars, buses, and limos. Midtown will also get a makeover with new Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) technology, including upgraded traffic lights and roadside units. “I am honored that USDOT chose New York City to participate in this cutting edge connected vehicle pilot program,” NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said. “We look forward to testing this exciting safety technology on some of the toughest streets in the world.”
Tampa has $17 million coming its way for learning how to install the same “connected technology” in vehicles and the smartphones of pedestrians, in an
effort to keep those walking the streets of New York safer and to ease congestion during peak rush hours times. Tampa will also monitor benefits to the environment that this new tech will have.
Wyoming will receive up to $5 million to examine how to make the I-80 east-west corridor safer and more efficient for hauling cargo. This section of highway is one of the more important in the northern part of the U.S. for commercial trucks and vehicles moving freight, and it sees anywhere from 11,000 to 16,000 vehicles cross its path daily. The Wyoming DOT will collect info by using both V2V and V2I and pass it along to those vehicles that are not armed with the programs.
The extraordinary amount of data that these two system will collect will serve as the backbone for a host of ground-breaking applications, which will in turn give way to smart vehicles and infrastructure, and then smart cities. Studies on the programs believe that not only will the number of yearly accidents drastically decrease, but the annual 4.8 million hours motorists and passengers in the U.S. spend in traffic will fall sharply.
In 2012, the DOT installed and tested the tech in over 2,700 vehicles on Ann Arbor, Michigan. The data proved that those with the tech avoided accidents on their every day routes. They were given warning of a wide variety from vehicles braking ahead of them, vehicles in their blind spots, and potential violations from red-lights. The USDOT Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office said, “USDOT’s efforts proved that connected vehicle technology indeed works in the real world and in a variety of vehicle types including cars, trucks, transit vehicles, motorcycles and even bicycles.”
By launching the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deploy Program, the DOT has laid the framework that will speed up the adoption of the tech across America and make travel on the roads and highways of this great nation safer and more efficient.