In a proposed deal with Panasonic, the state of Utah and Utah DOT (UDOT) may invest more than $50 million over five years to expand the state’s roadside sensor technology. The sensor network will enable the exchange of data between connected vehicles and within the connected environment.
An initial one-year $8 million pilot that is presently under contract will involve the installation of approximately 40 roadside sensors and the equipping of 30 state-owned vehicles with on-board systems enabling them to communicate with the network.
Data will flow to a central, cloud-based software platform that will monitor the information and automatically generate alerts that can be shared with vehicles, traffic signals and electronic signs, as well as state transportation staff.
Further phasing of the sensor network is contingent on the success of this pilot run, but UDOT is looking at the installation of a possible 220 sensors, with a further 2,000 vehicles given on-board enabling. The state is also considering whether there are ways to collect data to determine the location of potholes and other types of road damage, in effort to strengthen the state’s maintenance regimen.
Colorado and Panasonic are working on a project similar to the one getting underway in Utah. That program is centered on a 90-mile corridor along I-70, which involves about 90 state vehicles equipped with technology to communicate with the roadside equipment, including snowplows and highway maintenance trucks.
Utah, which has dipped into UAV use among other tech avenues, meanwhile, has been building out a program for about five years that now allows for wireless communication between traffic signals and some transit buses and snowplows.