Michigan Department of Transportation Tests Vehicle to Infrastructure Technology on SMART Bus


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MDOT is testing vehicle to infrastructure technology through a SMART bus on M-97.

Photo courtesy of the Michigan Department of Transportation

The Michigan Department of Transportation today announced that vehicle to infrastructure technology is being tested on a section of M-97, or Groesbeck Highway, in Macomb County. Six intersections of M-97 have been equipped with dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) devices that transmit information from the signal to inside a bus via an onboard unit to inform the driver of signal timing changes and potential red-light violations.

"Collaboration is vital, and Michigan again is where the technologies of tomorrow are being tested today," says Kirk T. Steudle, director of MDOT. "This testing is the first step in making public transit safer and more efficient, and these first steps are being taken right here in southeast Michigan."

Intersections between Masonic Boulevard and Metropolitan Parkway have been equipped with the new technology. The transit signal priority demonstration was unveiled to industry experts attending the Intelligent Transportation Society of America Annual Meeting at Cobo Center in Detroit.

"One of SMART's goals is to look for innovative ways to improve our transit service, especially along our busiest and most congested corridors," says John C. Hertel, general manager of the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART). "To be a part of the Michigan's first public transit pilot with connected vehicle technology is a great opportunity."

A plan to install permanent deployments is already underway along dedicated transit lines on M-3, or Gratiot Avenue, and M-53, or Van Dyke Avenue, both in Macomb County. Results from the test runs will be used to further enhance the system of DSRC and onboard units.

"We are proud to team up with MDOT, SMART, and other partners on this project to show the nation that Macomb County is a leader in smart and connected roadways," says Mark A. Hackel, county executive.

MDOT also partnered with Danlaw Inc.

"Danlaw is proud to supply this on-vehicle DSRC equipment for this very important project," says Andrew Donaldson, program manager at Danlaw. "This joint effort between MDOT, Macomb County, SMART, and all the suppliers shows how this technology can directly improve the lives of residents by enabling on-time public transportation."

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