September 8, 2014 -Power outages, torrential rain, bad pavement, flooded roads. It is hard to think about the future when we are dealing with so many real issues today. However, try to put these real issues aside for just a moment and go see the future of transportation on display this week at Cobo Center and Belle Isle. The Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) World Congress is happening in Detroit this week, and it has gotten off to a great start.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced that is partnering with General Motors, Ford Motor Co., and a University of Michigan (U-M) consortium to deploy technology that will allow for vehicles to transmit information to other vehicles on more than 120 miles of Metro Detroit roadway, including stretches of I-696 and I-94.
Why should we care about this? Well, this technology will enable vehicles to transmit information on road conditions to other vehicles and alert drivers to potential problems. This technology has the potential to prevent drivers from encountering hazards and can greatly improve safety.
The stretch of I-96/I-696 from US-23 in Brighton east to I-94 in St. Clair Shores has been chosen to become the region's first "connected corridor." Why? It is located in the heart of the region's technology and automotive development corridor and is one of the most heavily traveled routes in the state.
SEMCOG is supportive of this technology as it helps us to implement our goals of improving the efficiency of the transportation system and enhancing the safety of the system. It would have been great to have this system in place over the past few weeks to advise us of potholes and places where the roads were flooded. What can stall this from going forward? Well, inadequate funding is one big issue that needs to be addressed for sure. Just another reason to get Congress and the Legislature to provide the necessary funding to improve our roads and bridges now.
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