Connected Vehicle Technology Research on I-66

10:16 PM, Jun 6, 2013   |    comments
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(WUSA9) -- If you drive I-66 Northern Virginia, you are well-acquainted with gridlock.  

But congestion and safety could improve on I-66 and elsewhere, thanks to new connected vehicle technology, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell cut the ribbon for a new research "test bed" along a four square mile area on I-66 from the Beltway to Nutley and on parallel Routes 50 and 29.  

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has installed 45 radio devices in the test bed.  

The white devices with antennae will send V-Dot information about works zones, slow traffic, etc., to vehicles equipped with connected vehicle technology.   

Similar to how navigation systems evolved from, only on devices to installed in your car and smart phone, so too will it be for connected vehicle technology, according to Tom Dingus, the Director of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.  

With connected vehicle technology, cars that have it can talk to each other and send out warnings to avoid collisions. It can let a driver know another vehicle is in the blind spot,  or anywhere else around the driver's vehicle. 

With cars talking to each other, and roads talking to cars,  Ray Recendes, the executive director of the local project says crash rates could come down by 80 percent.

And if you prevent crashes, it will save lives and reduce congestion.

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