The Michigan Department of Transportation is collaborating with engineers in Taiwan on Intelligent Transportation Systems research. The collaboration may someday lead to in-vehicle devices that would provide drivers with information about what speed to keep to get a green light at a traffic signal ahead.

MDOT engineers will work with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute to develop technologies that will enable vehicles to receive and communicate information about the timing of traffic signals.

For example, a computer module in a vehicle could use signal timing information to alert drivers to the speed and distance of their vehicles even before a signal came into view, allowing a vehicle to pass safely through during the green phase of the signal without stopping.

The project also will study how information from an in-vehicle device could warn drivers that they are about to run a red light so that they could adjust their speed and slow down.

Engineers from the Taiwan Institute for Information Industry will provide the software and configure the communication system needed for the in-vehicle devices. In conjunction with Hubble Roth and Clark Inc. of Michigan, the engineers from Taiwan will provide roadside equipment that will be installed at two locations in Oakland County next spring. The proposed intersections are 13 Mile Road and Franklin Road, and 13 Mile Road and Inkster Road. These two intersections for this project will complement an MDOT initiative with the U.S. Department of Transportation to place similar communication devices at 22 intersections along Telegraph Road in Oakland County in January 2011.

MDOT Operations Engineer Steve Cook says the work with the Taiwanese researchers and UMTRI is only one example of the initiatives that MDOT is working on to improve safety and traffic flow to assist drivers.

“MDOT is committed to making better use of today’s technologies and innovations to solve our transportation operations and infrastructure challenges,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle.

Since 2005, MDOT has been a leader at the national and international levels in the research and promotion of IntelliDrive, a program of the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance connectivity among vehicles and roadway infrastructure in order to significantly improve the safety and mobility of the U.S. transportation system.

This includes significant investment in and support of test centers, including IntelliDrive test centesr in Auburn Hills, Farmington Hills and Southfield. In Oakland County, MDOT completed the I-75 Integrated Corridor Management project along 25 miles in Oakland County from Baldwin Boulevard to M-102 (8 Mile Road) in June 2009.
MDOT also is involved with an initiative to improve corridor traffic flow along I-75 in Oakland County, with the Road Commission for Oakland County providing assistance to MDOT.

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