ITS: Iowa DOT to take stretch of I-380 into self-driving future

Oct. 11, 2016

The agency will partner with mapping service Here on the 30-mile stretch

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) will partner with mapping venture Here, the mapping business, to transform a nearly 30-mile stretch of I-380 into a corridor adaptable for self-driving cars and trucks.

Here will use its open location platform, including real-time and predictive traffic maps, to help IDOT develop ways for self-driving vehicles to better communicate with the infrastructure and other vehicles.

I-380 between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids will be retrofitted to better handle the expected onslaught of automated and connected vehicles, notably freight vehicles. Through a network of cameras and sensors attached to or embedded in permanent fixtures (e.g., traffic signs and streetlights), experts believe self-driving cars can communicate correctly with their surroundings and other vehicles.

“Iowa is a producer state,” said Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino III in a statement. “Many of our goods leave our borders, making our transportation infrastructure the lifeblood of our economy. We are focused on leveraging advanced technology to create a more efficient and safe road network for intermodal mobility and increased economic development opportunities.”

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