Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) like connected vehicle (CV) technology, which improve safety, reduce commute times and enhance traffic management, aren’t such futuristic ideas anymore.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has announced the imminent release of a request for proposals from private sector partners to provide a turnkey CV solution for principal roadways in Metro Atlanta. As car manufacturers begin to employ CV technology in their vehicles, GDOT moves one step closer to ensuring that no matter the vehicle technology, the state’s transportation infrastructure will be prepared.
Georgia is already underway in pursuing a large active connected vehicle infrastructure deployment. To date, more than 400 locations across metro Atlanta are connected with this innovative CV technology.
In a speech on Jan. 21 to transportation professionals, Gov. Brian Kemp announced a Regional Connected Vehicle partnership between Georgia DOT and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) to connect an additional 1,000 locations with CV technology.
The cost of the initial phase of the project is $10 million, $8 million will come from federal sources with a $2 million local match from numerous local governments and Community Improvement Districts. This funding supports the implementation of connected vehicle projects that support applications such as transit signal priority and emergency vehicle preemption.
“Georgia DOT is leveraging innovative strategies to enhance transportation that helps improve the quality of life of hard-working Georgians in all parts of our state,” Gov. Kemp said during his formal remarks to attendees. “We work hard to continue to bring private and public sectors together to build relationships. Working with regional partners ensures the seamless deployment of this technology at the local level.”
There are currently two types of technologies used in connected vehicles: dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) and cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X). The existing 400 CV locations utilize DSRC, and the 1,000 new locations will deploy both DSRC and C-V2X communication. While consumers may be accustomed to increased technology in their cars, such as back up cameras, this deployment will specifically allow the infrastructure itself to directly talk back. With safety as a primary goal, connected vehicle technology is anticipated to aid motorists in actively avoiding crashes and other incidents.
Many recent announcements have been made by car manufacturers signaling their intent to begin deploying this technology as a standard feature in upcoming model lines. GDOT has specifically been in discussion with Ford Motor Company regarding their specific plans for a connected vehicle future beginning in 2022.
“Ford Motor Company is extremely excited to learn of the on-going and planned connected vehicle infrastructure deployments in the state of Georgia,” said Jovan Zagajac, technology manager for Ford Motor Company. “These initiatives are solidifying Georgia as a national connected vehicle leader and demonstrates a strong commitment to prepare connected infrastructure as Ford begins to roll out suitably equipped vehicles beginning in 2022. The efforts underway in Georgia, will place them at the front of the line in realizing the safety and mobility benefits that connected vehicle technology can provide.”
“Many car manufacturers are making plans to begin mass implementation of connected vehicle technology said Georgia DOT State Traffic Engineer Andrew Heath. “It is essential that Georgia fully prepare our infrastructure to to be ready for this connected future.”
“The regional connected vehicle program will help boost safety and mobility across metro Atlanta,” said Atlanta Regional Commission Chairman Kerry Armstrong. “It’s especially encouraging to see this program develop as a truly collaborative effort involving not just ARC and GDOT, but also local governments and CIDs.”