SALT LAKE CITY — UDOT is beginning a five-year program to digitally connect cars and state roads. The goal is to relay information quickly about dangerous driving conditions.
UDOT testing new technology
UDOT is teaming up with Panasonic to deploy a network of next-generation radio pods along some Utah highway corridors. Officials say the V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communications technology is what makes the system work. It allows vehicles to communicate to one another and the outside world.
The pods will gather information from passing vehicles, process the data and send out important messages. For example, warning drivers of unsafe conditions or road closures due to accidents. So far, 80 roadside radio units have been installed. UDOT officials say they’re launching a five-year program to deploy and test V2X systems on some of the state’s most hazardous roadways, including Parleys Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon.
“The real key is the long-term plan to improve safety on our roads,” explains Blaine Leonard, Utah Department of Transportation technology engineer. “This is a technology that is unique in that while we’re still waiting for coming autonomous vehicles, V2X is here now, usable now and ready to give us a benefit.”
One unknown is how drivers will receive the messages. According to Leonard, it could be a text that appears on a dashboard or touchscreen display. It also could potentially be a voice message that plays through a vehicle’s audio system.
“Today when a car crashes on the highway because of an aggressive move or poor conditions, somebody has to call 911,” Panasonic Vice President Chris Armstrong tells the Deseret News.
“We know in Utah that can be as long as 10-15 minutes before traffic operations is notified and can react. If they get notified in a second, they can reroute traffic, help with emergency response time. When you know what’s happening fast you can take action and alert people fast.”
Today’s Top Stories
- Gas station clerk tells her Susan Powell story for the first time publicly
- Bicyclists honor friend lost in deadly Millcreek Canyon avalanche
- 4 Fun Family Activities You Can Do at a County Fair
- As bitcoin surges, prominent cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase aims to go public
- Ogden man arrested for attempted murder, kidnapping
- Millcreek and Salt Lake cities find agreement on new boundaries
- LSU QB Joe Burrow wins Heisman Trophy in landslide vote
- Earthquake damage shuts down Magna fire station
- President Trump says he wants background check laws, also reassures NRA
- What are you Eating for the Big Game? 5 Quick and Easy Recipes for Sunday Game Food that…