The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) will be installing equipment on 100 fleet vehicles that regularly drive the I-70 corridor that allow them to communicate information to and from the state’s Traffic Management Center. CDOT and its partner Panasonic will also place 100 roadside vehicle-to-everything (V2X) roadside units along the corridor, building on a successful V2X pilot program.
During the pilot program, CDOT and Panasonic installed and tested five roadside units and six vehicle onboard units and established a center to manage the system.
The aim of this connected system is to allow drivers and traffic managers to receive real-time information about road conditions such as traffic delays, icy conditions, and crashes through continuous and automatic communications between individual vehicles and roadside infrastructure. Once deployed, this system is projected to result in an 81% decrease in unimpaired multi-vehicle crashes, as well as more reliable travel times and, eventually, the ability to communicate with self-driving cars, according to CDOT.
“Car manufacturers worldwide are preparing for the future, so we must be prepared as well,” said Amy Ford, chief of advanced mobility at CDOT. “Toyota will be rolling out V2X-equipped vehicles in 2021 and Ford will have vehicles as early as 2020. When those cars roll off lots, who will have the environment for them to work in? Colorado.”
The deployment of 100 connected vehicles is part of Phase 1. The next phase will allow traffic managers to begin sending messages to connected vehicles via the roadside units, alerting drivers of upcoming roadway hazards on in-vehicle screens.