ITE Journal - April 2020 - 24

| inside the industry

Pushing the Limits of
Transportation Infrastructure
Georgia DOT Partners for Safety and Mobility with Connected Vehicles
By Andrew
Heath, P.E. (M)

The transportation industry is on the verge of the largest
disruption since the invention of the automobile.
Across the country, human error accounts for
94 percent of serious crashes. But up to 80 percent
of non-impaired collisions could be prevented with
enhanced vehicle connectivity, according to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration.1, 2
Of the 370,000 annual roadway motor vehicle
crashes we see in Georgia, 52 percent are rear-end and
sideswipe same direction.* With just the most basic
connected vehicle (CV) application, it may be possible to mitigate almost half of those crashes. And if we
include lane and roadway departure applications, we
could address another 22 percent or more than 80,000
crashes annually. In total, it is reasonable to assume
the potential for CV and lane departure technology to
eliminate an average of 680 (55 percent) fatality crashes
and 23,732 (63 percent) injury crashes annually.
Safety Plays an Intrinsic Role in Transportation. At the Georgia Department of Transportation
(GDOT), safety is not only a part of our mission, it's also
one of our strategic goals. And the investments made in
intelligent transportation systems (ITS) have improved
traffic management and made for safer driving. Promising new technologies for everything from on-road
communications to data analysis will dramatically
change how vehicles operate and provide information,
resulting in even more substantial improvements in
real-time traffic management and safety. But these can
only occur if the necessary transportation network
infrastructure is in place.
What Comes First - the Vehicle or the Infrastructure? Broad deployment of CV technology
requires a coalition of the transportation industry-
both public and private sectors-to come to the table to
work together. Building the transportation infrastructure needed for connected vehicles is a bit of a chicken
and egg conversation. Do the DOTs wait for automakers
to create cars capable of V2I? Or do DOTs proactively
create the infrastructure ahead of the enabled vehicles?
*	

24

Apri l 2020

Georgia DOT is taking the latter approach. As
CV technology and CV-enabled vehicles become more
widespread, there is real potential that the transportation community will get closer to the goal of zero
deaths-something that has been discussed for decades.
In Georgia, the state DOT takes that challenge seriously.
In the metro Atlanta region, Georgia DOT is already
implementing one of the largest connected vehicle
deployments in the United States through installing
Roadside Units (RSUs) at 1,600 locations within metro
Atlanta, including 400 in operation now.
Additionally, through a partnership with the Atlanta
Regional Commission (ARC), GDOT is embarking on
a request for proposal (RFP) to deploy another 1,000
RSUs at contiguous signalized intersections across
the region.
And we aren't stopping there. Through a partnership
with Panasonic, the Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA), and The Ray on I-85-an 18-mile (12.8 kilometer) rural stretch of interstate in West Point, GA that
is a proving ground for evolving ideas and infrastructure
technologies-we are testing CV applications at
six locations.
Talking Directly to Vehicles. Georgia's regional
connected vehicle program is not a pilot. Deployment
of CV roadside units (RSUs) throughout metro Atlanta
began in 2018 and has continued ever since. The
technology consists of roadside equipment and software
systems that connect equipped vehicles directly to the
infrastructure. The ability for the infrastructure to talk
directly to vehicles is what makes Georgia's program so
unique. It is direct point-to-point communication.
The infrastructure assists with both mobility and
safety by collecting information on traffic and road
conditions and subsequently providing that information
to vehicles. Specific applications can then be developed
including red light warnings; recommended speed to
pass through the next traffic signal on green; a countdown to green; and preemption or priority phasing for
specific vehicles.

Based on 2013-2018 data using Numetric crash data platform from Georgia Electronic Accident Reporting System (GEARS)

i te j o urn al



ITE Journal - April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ITE Journal - April 2020

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