Future of Intelligent Transportation Systems to be previewed in 4 U.S. cities

In-car warning systems and wireless signals will lead to safer roads for U.S. drivers and emergency management vehicles.

News AASHTO Journal June 9, 2006 June 09, 2006
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Working with the private sector, ITS America and state DOTs, AASHTO will highlight several of the innovative technologies demonstrated last November at the ITS World Congress in San Francisco. The forward-looking exhibits are a part of the celebration taking place of the 50th Anniversary of the Interstate Highway system. AASHTO is coordinating a program of research, policy forums and public events focused on the Interstate system and its future. "ITS advanced automotive technology is clearly a major factor in preparing to meet the transportation demands we face now and in the future," said John Horsley, AASHTO Executive Director.

Among the applications demonstrated at the Innovative Mobility Showcase will be:

  • An in-car driver warning that a signal is about to turn red;
  • An in-car advisory to the driver that a work zone is ahead; and
  • Emergency vehicles given priority access to an intersection by sending a wireless signal to the area traffic-control mechanism.

"These futuristic looks ahead evoke a gee-whiz response, but in fact these applications may be closer than most people think," said Horsley. "AASHTO's member state transportation departments are working closely with automakers to create a world in which cars will 'talk to the road' and the road will 'talk back,' with great improvements in safety and convenience for everyone," Horsley said.

The three wireless-technology applications demonstrated are a small sample of the potential information drivers can receive through such systems. Other benefits may include warnings of potential collision (i.e., "no left turn") or vehicles that brake without human intervention when an obstacle is sensed; vehicles that can message each other about dangerous roadway conditions ahead; and buses that "drive themselves" along specially engineered routes.

The Innovative Mobility Showcase will appear at four stops along the convoy's 13-state route: in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Saturday, June 17; in Omaha, Nebraska, on Thursday, June 22, at the Qwest Convention Center's Parking Lot D; in Tinley Park, Illinois, on Sunday, June 25, at the Holiday Inn Conference Center parking lot; and in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 29, at the parking lot at RFK Stadium.

Innovative Mobility Showcase sponsors include: Connexis, DaimlerChrysler, Econolite, ITS America, Raytheon, Shel Leader ITS/Communications and TechnoCom.

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