Wyoming to Introduce New Connected Technology to Reduce I-80 Crashes

September 16, 2016

State transportation officials are planning to use new connected vehicle technology on the Interstate 80 corridor in an effort to prevent crashes on the road, which has the highest traffic volume in Wyoming.

The I-80 corridor in Wyoming is one of only three locations around the nation to participate in the Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program. Interstate 80, which reaches its highest elevation at 8,640 feet, is a major corridor for east-west freight movement in the northwest part of the country.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports the state Department of Transportation has received a $4.4 million federal grant to cover most of the $5.7 million project. The new technology will allow truck drivers to communicate with department personnel for updates on roadside infrastructure.

Connected Vehicle Technology enables trucks and WYDOT’s fleets to “talk” to each other and to “talk” to the roadside infrastructure. By enabling this connection, the pilot project will enable drivers to have 360-degree awareness of hazards and situations, including some they cannot see.

The system is planned to be integrated within WYDOT’s existing Transportation Management Center (TMC), and WYDOT anticipates equipping 400 vehicles and installing close to 75 roadside units using this technology. Private fleet partner trucks will also equip their vehicles with the new technology.

Officials expect the technology to improve road safety by having commercial drivers more aware of hazards, especially during snowy weather conditions.

The transportation department’s Ali Ragan says the agency is looking to have commercial vehicles equipped with the technology in 2018.

There have been 13 reported deaths and 1,400 crashes on the I-80 corridor in the past year.

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