You’ve been involved in a crash and your airbag deploys. Before you can find your phone to call for help, emergency responders and a tow truck arrive on-scene. There’s a dangerous snow flurry ahead. Before a catastrophic pileup, drivers, alerted to the hazard via alerts on their dashes, are diverted to other roads or instructed to enter cautiously, while a snowplow is also dispatched. Cars are stopping hard around a blind curve. A dash alert cautions drivers approaching the bend to slow down.
| CDOT Panasonic I 70 V2X Unit Locations
This is the future of smart, connected roads—where vehicles communicate with each other and traffic managers through continuous and automatic roadside units, enabling real-time information about road conditions and events affecting the flow of traffic to be sent and received instantaneously. It may seem like something out of some futuristic sci-fi movie, but it’s actually happening now. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Panasonic have partnered on a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) project along the I-70 Mountain Corridor from Golden to Vail. It’s the largest shared investment in V2X technology, and it’s well underway; five V2X roadside units and six V2X vehicles with onboard units have proven successful already. The goal is to complete the roadside infrastructure—100 roadside units total—by the end of 2018. Additionally, more than 100 CDOT vehicles that frequent the I-70 corridor (close to where Diesel Power Challenge used to hold its fuel economy drive
) will be equipped with the V2X technology. The project is stated to end in 2021 and serve as a model for the rest of the nation.
| CDOT Panasonic I 70 V2X Road Side Unit
“Car manufacturers worldwide are preparing for the future, so we must be prepared as well,” said Chief of Advanced Mobility at CDOT Amy Ford. “Toyota will be rolling out V2X-equipped vehicles in 2021 and Ford will have vehicles as early as 2020. When those cars roll off lots, who will have the environment for them to work in? Colorado.”
| CDOT Panasonic I 70 V2X Roadside Unit Installed
A statewide V2X system could generate 2 billion “data points” per hour from 3 million vehicles, beating out Twitter’s average of 28 million tweets per hour seventy-fold. Information overload? Perhaps. The goal, however, of all that information would be improved safety and mobility while boosting the economy and our quality of life.
| CDOT Panasonic I 70 V2X Roadside Unit Up Close
| CDOT Panasonic I 70 V2X Roadside Unit Locations
Check out these stats, according to the video CDOT V2X: How Colorado is Reinventing Transportation, posted by the Colorado Department of Transportation.
Today: 45 percent increase in fatal crashes in the last six years.
Tomorrow: Up to 80 percent fewer crashes.
Today: 122 percent projected increase in traffic delays by 2040.
Tomorrow: Up to 50 percent shorter travel times.
Today: #1 source of air pollution is transportation.
Tomorrow: Improve air quality by reducing congestion.
| CDOT Panasonic I 70 V2X Roadside Unit Snow
The next time you find yourself on this stretch of the I-70, look for the units indicating you’re in a V2X environment. Better yet—if you’re on a road trip later this year, have the kids count as many units as they can find. And be on your best behavior. Technology knows your every move.
| CDOT Panasonic I 70 V2X Roadside Unit