General Motors, Macomb County Michigan and MDOT have begun testing smart road technology that could change the way drivers receive information on the road for the better, according to The Detroit News.
The most intriguing portion of the project are the special road signs now in place on certain portions of Interstate 75. The signs, which look like QR codes for smartphones, are actually being used by specially equipped test vehicles. The vehicles can read the codes and provide the driver with essential information as to what’s ahead in a work zone. For example, the sign can tell the car, and subsequently the driver, which lanes are closed up ahead.
Macomb County says it’s only one area and one of many public-private partnerships to begin working on connected and smart roads. The county has invested $13.5 million in a Communications and Technology Center that brings traffic-monitoring, weather-mapping, road-department cameras and a video wall with 40 monitors. Officials are discussing with automakers how they can best use the infrastructure.
Additionally, GM and the county have continued testing smart traffic signals in the area. The vehicle to infrastructure technology warns drivers of a signal that is changing from green to red. In turn, it can help drivers avoid suddenly speeding through an intersection or slamming on the brakes. The system works up to 1,000 feet away from a programmed traffic signal.
It’s only the beginning of smart infrastructure, but automakers and officials are embracing the technology. The investments could make for much safer roadways and help prevent traffic crashes by supplying crucial information as to what lay ahead.