U.S. DOT Grant Supports Vehicle Technology in Oakland County

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October 27, 2023

April O’Neil / news@WHMI.com

Thanks to a U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) grant, the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) is spearheading a project to deploy and operate advanced vehicle technology in Oakland County.

The project, entitled “Leading in Sustainable Safety with Technology,” aims to build a model for the deployment of safety-critical communication technology.

A press conference was held at the RCOC’s Traffic Operations Center in Waterford Twp. on Oct. 25th to discuss methods of implementing more efficient communication between vehicles, emergency responders, and even pedestrians.

“Vehicle-to-everything”, otherwise known as “V2X” technology, allows vehicles to share safety-critical information with each other, including traffic delays, sudden stops, pedestrians crossing the street, weather hazards, and other encounters drivers may experience on the road.

V2X technology is aimed at promoting safe driving practices and uses cellular service and radio technology in a hands-free manner. Information can be exchanged in real-time and is capable of alerting emergency vehicles to coordinate with traffic signals for faster response times and safe passage through intersections.

“Transportation safety remains a pressing concern in the United States,” noted RCOC Deputy Managing Director/County Highway Engineer Gary Piotrowicz, “with alarming statistics revealing nearly 7 million traffic crashes and 43,000 traffic fatalities in 2021, the highest number in over a decade. Safety-critical communication technology on the roads and in vehicles holds the potential to mitigate these tragedies.”

The adoption of the technology in the U.S. has faced challenges over the last decade but has been gaining momentum over the last year as the US DOT has prompted a call for collaboration between public and private sector leaders to accelerate adoption.

Researchers will study the best ways to implementing the technology in Oakland County and the initiative will run for the next 12 months.

The project is funded by a $2 million US DOT Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) grant.

More information can be found at the provided link.

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