How the Colorado DOT plans to connect cars and roads to make driving safer

Thu, 2016-10-27 15:09 -- SCC Staff

We've written numerous articles on connected car technology and their potential for making city driving safer and more convenient and traffic more manageable. But it turns out at least one state is taking an innovative connected car approach to resolve problems with an Interstate highway. Two takeaways for city (and state) leaders from the story below: A) Appreciate the value of an experienced technology partner  and B) Connected cars really are coming and you will need to know how to integrate and accommodate them. — Doug Peeples

Many cities are optimistic that connected car technology can make driving safer, reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and more. The Colorado Department of Transportation is optimistic about connected car technology too.

The transportation agency will work with Council Associate Partner Panasonic on a program intended to make driving safer and less prone to traffic stalls on I-70, a highway reputation for being "challenging" to drive and prone to long traffic jams.

It's not an entirely new relationship. Panasonic has worked with the state, the city of Denver and the Denver International Airport for some time. Now Panasonic will draw from its transport and smart cities work in Japan and apply its intelligent automotive and traffic management experience for a solution to fix I-70's safety and mobility problems.

The pilot project will be part of the state's RoadX program, a combination of technology and systems investments designed to reduce accidents, injuries and delays. Essentially, the program will allow cars, drivers and highway infrastructure to share real-time data with each other to improve traffic safety

Referring to the Panasonic partnership with CDOT, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said "We are thrilled that they have chosen to partner with Colorado in bringing advanced technologies and strategies for smart transportation and smart cities. Not only does that position Colorado as one of the leading states in harnessing tomorrow's smart technology today, but it accelerates the benefits of such innovations to the residents and travelers of our state."

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Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City, has begun an initiative to help 10 cities around the world prepare for self-driving cars. For now, the Bloomberg Aspen Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles has named Austin, Los Angeles and Nashville in the U.S. and Buenos Aires and Paris as participants. Give more cities will be named before the end of the year.