Photo via flickr/Cliff

Photo via flickr/Cliff

The City and County of Denver, Colo., was awarded a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to implement traffic management technologies through its Smart City Program. This includes installing communication devices in 1,500 fleet vehicles.

With this grant, Denver plans to implement three intelligent vehicle projects to improve operations, cut down on congestion, and increase safety for drivers and pedestrians. 

One of these projects involves upgrading the current traffic management center, which operates and maintains over 1,200 traffic signals, 460 closed circuit TV cameras, and thousands of sensor and detection devices. To do so, the agency will partner with navigation app Waze to disseminate critical information about road closures, construction, and other critical traveler information.

Through this program, the agency also hopes to build a connected vehicle network in which vehicles can alert each other to avoid accidents. It will start by installing dedicated short-range communications in 1,500 city fleet vehicles. As the communications devices are adopted by more and more vehicles on the road, Denver hopes to reduce crashes at some intersections by 30%.

The Smart City Program also aims to transform highways in underserved communities into freight efficiency corridors, supporting freight movement during non-peak hours. Automated Pedestrian Detection will also be implemented at difficult crosswalks to improve pedestrian and driver interactions.

The grant was awarded under FHWA's Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) program and was part of a larger announcement from the DOT, which awarded a total of $55.6 million to advance technology projects across the country.