HomeTop StoriesWireless roads? UDOT receives $20 million to deploy new 'V2X' technology...

Wireless roads? UDOT receives $20 million to deploy new ‘V2X’ technology that could connect cars and roads

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Thursday, the Utah Department of Transportation received a $20 million grant to deploy vehicle-to-everything (or V2X) technology in Utah.

According to UDOT, V2X technology “uses sensors and wireless connectivity to allow vehicles to connect and communicate with drivers and their environment to improve road safety, mobility and efficiency.”

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The grant — awarded by the US Department of Transportation – is expected to help UDOT, the Wyoming Department of Transportation and the Colorado Department of Transportation create a connected network that is both seamless and reliable, UDOT said.

“Utah is a leader in promoting and deploying V2X technologies to explore the potential to save lives on our nation’s highways,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt.

According to UDOT, the grant was awarded on the same day that USDOT’s National V2X Implementation Plan was released.

“The funding provided today will help accelerate the technology so we can deploy it on a national scale and provide new tools to reduce fatalities on our nation’s highways,” Bhatt said.

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What is vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology?

Officials said the V2X technology will essentially help vehicles “talk” to each other and the signals on the road.

According to UDOT, the technology can help inform motorists about sharp turns, bad weather and road closures. It is also said that V2X technology can prevent accidents by identifying the location of ‘vulnerable road users’.

In the Beehive State, the technology has already been installed along Redwood Road, making that road the nation’s first “operationally connected vehicle corridor.” Buses equipped with special radios can communicate with the traffic lights along the connected roads.

The connectivity between the buses and the roads means that “if the bus is behind schedule, the signal can extend the length of the green light – all without any action from the bus driver,” according to UDOT.

Within the nation’s top 75 metropolitan areas, the USDOT’s goal is to equip 25 percent of “signalized intersections” with V2X technology.

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In the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, 20 percent of signals are already equipped with V2X technology, and UDOT said 96 percent of traffic signals in Utah are connected, thanks to the state’s fiber-optic network.

“With this technology, we will be able to save more lives, faster,” said Carlos Braceras, executive director of UDOT. “We look forward to working with our partners as we expand this connected network beyond the borders of our state.”

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