The Innovate Mound Road project will use technology to improve traffic conditions – but what does that mean to the average commuter?
One of the biggest annoyances while driving is sitting at a long red light, and there are no cars on the lanes with the green light. Imagine if someone who had the power to control the traffic signals could notice in real-time that there was a backup and change the signal accordingly to speed up your commute?
And what about when traffic gets blocked in that one lane for miles and miles. Drivers have no idea what’s going on until they finally get to the problem – somebody’s car died in the middle of the intersection. Many people wonder if they should call someone to report the delay, but most don’t bother because they are already past or they assumed someone else did. Imagine if no one had to notify officials of the delay – they could just see it in real-time and make traffic control adjustments quickly to get everyone moving again?
These dreams will become a reality in the Innovate Mound Road project when the finished roadway includes updated technology that will connect the roadway to Macomb County COMTEC, or Communications and Technology Center. Within that building is the county’s traffic operations center, where engineers monitor video and data from roadways throughout the county and work together to find solutions to keep traffic moving.
A fiber network is also being installed that will create a data link to that center.
“It will make a depository of all this data, which could be used to make things better for traffic operations,” John Abraham, Director of Traffic and Operations with the Macomb County Department of Roads.
Smart cars on the roadway will contribute to real-time traffic data coming into the center.
“We will now know if there are delays on Mound Road,” Abraham said. “If the connected vehicles are running slower than they should be our operations engineers can immediately look at our cameras and see if anything is happening.”
The endgame of this function is to not only improve traffic flow, but to increase safety on Mound Road. The data will also help gather the following information:
- Parking availability
- Transit schedules
- Road weather conditions
- Roadway conditions or delays for emergency responders
The Innovate Mound Road project is embracing future technologies by making improvements that pave the way for use of more driverless cars and electronic vehicles. Technology is under development, some of it right here in Michigan, for automated personal, commercial, and mass transit vehicles.