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Connected-Vehicle Technology Solution For The Most Dangerous Intersections

Connected-Vehicle Technology Is A high-tech solution for the Valley’s most dangerous intersections

According to an analysis from the Maricopa Association of Governments, the majority of the Valley’s most dangerous intersections are in west Phoenix and Glendale.

One-quarter of all crashes occur within the three-hour window between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

connected vehicle technology

The high-tech solution

Traffic engineers have controlled intersections the same way for roughly the last 65 years, said K. Larry Head of the University of Arizona Transportation Research Institute.

But Head is testing technology in Anthem that could radically change the way traffic signals are managed – and potentially save thousands of lives.

“We’re really going to make a change in the way traffic works,” he said.

Together with the Maricopa County Department of Transportation and ADOT, they are testing connected-vehicle technology that allows cars to communicate with traffic signals and vice versa.

As vehicles equipped with transmitters get within about 900 feet of an intersection, they start trading information.

“With this connected-vehicle technology, for the first time ever, we know where the cars are. ”

The difference is that traffic signals can use that data to automatically adjust to suit the needs of approaching vehicles. If there are multiple emergency vehicles, the signals can figure out which one should be let through first.

“We can hold a signal on red so the cars don’t run into each other,” said Faisal Saleem of MCDOT. “There are a lot of safety benefits from the information we are providing.

Maricopa Association of Governments, the majority of the Valley’s most dangerous intersections are in west Phoenix and Glendale. The map below shows the top 15.

University of Arizona researcher Sara Khosravi is testing a cell phone application that helps blind or disabled pedestrians cross these connected intersections. Her app lets users request a walk signal by simply tapping their screen.

It also counts aloud the number of seconds a user has to get to the other side. The team has been testing the tech since 2012.

“The technology is ready,” Saleem said.

He said this year, Cadillac incorporated this communication capability into 5,000 of their vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering implementing a rule that would require automakers to incorporate connected-vehicle technology into all new cars starting in 2021.

The team testing the Multi-Modal Intelligent Traffic Signal System in Anthem isn’t waiting until then.

The sensors will be ready for roll-out to government vehicles and large trucks much sooner.

Researchers demonstrated the technology Thursday to a group in the trucking industry.

Connected vehicles and intersections could have a dramatic impact on safety.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates they could reduce unimpaired crashes by 80 percent, Saleem said.