Connected Vehicle Technology Warns Drivers in Advance
The Autonomous-Connected Mobility Evaluation program at the University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research, which analyzed data from the THEA pilot, found that connected vehicle technology can produce a tremendous amount of valuable data.
“Connected vehicle technology really provides a way to be warned in advance when you don’t see the danger,” says Sisinnio Concas, program director of the center. “Sharing this information with nearby vehicles helps make the rest of the traffic system safer. Also, analyzing patterns over time, we can help an agency make informed decisions; for example, which areas of the network are more prone to crashes.”
The THEA pilot produced impressive accident-avoidance results, preventing 17 potential auto crashes and 21 pedestrian collisions, Frey says. The pilot also warned 14 wrong-way drivers and provided 19 red light violation warnings. Nearly two-thirds of the participants reported that they were somewhat to very satisfied with the technology, according to Frey.
“Most of our problems on the roadway come from safety issues,” Frey says. “If we can figure out ways to reduce the number of crashes and clear them quicker, then we can reduce delays and let people manage their lives in a less stressful way.”
Detailed roadway-related insight may also enhance speed harmonization efforts.
“It gives us travel times and it allows us to help people understand the best route,” Frey says. “If we’re able to increase the number of vehicles that move through the system at the optimal speed — and some of the researchers showed we could add maybe 30 to 40 percent more trips onto our current infrastructure — we could delay widening and adding new lanes by 10 or 15 years.
“There’s a huge value there, costwise, and in being able to manage and provide infrastructure in other places.”