The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has announced a joint project with Panasonic to test a vehicle-to-everything (V2X) data ecosystem along its real-world proving ground on Interstate 85 to provide a proof of concept for potential state-wide deployment.
The partnership will trial the V2X technology along the 18 miles (29km) long stretch of Interstate 85 in Troup County known as ‘The Ray’ that can then be implemented across the state to improve roadway safety, reduce traffic congestion, cut vehicle emissions and improve organizational efficiency. By making use of Panasonic’s Cirrus data management platform, GDOT will gain trial access to a V2X ecosystem that constantly receives actionable information along The Ray and transmits critical roadway information between state traffic roadway operators and vehicles equipped with V2X technology.
By 2022, it is estimated that there will be 105 million connected vehicles on the road ‘talking’ to each other and roadside infrastructure, producing the country’s largest data stream up to 150 petabytes annually, which is equal to 15,000 years of television content. In anticipation of the positive safety implications, GDOT has already installed hundreds of roadside units (RSUs) across the metropolitan Atlanta region. GDOT secured Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) grant funding allowing its installation of connected vehicle technology to expand to 1,700 of the most heavily traveled intersections in metro Atlanta.
Panasonic’s Cirrus V2X platform enables state DOTs to make use of the real-time, location-specific data to improve roadway safety, ease congestion, identify maintenance needs and roadway interruptions. With an open development platform, the Panasonic system can further enable advanced mobility solutions such as autonomous driving and truck platooning, and is built to capture the long tail of innovation with an endless number of transportation applications using V2X technology. The GDOT pilot with Panasonic along The Ray is a two-year program, with the Cirrus system installed and deployed by the end of 2019; GDOT and The Ray will conduct demonstrations of its data management capabilities and various use cases throughout 2020.
“It all comes down to safety,” said Harriet Langford, president and founder of The Ray. “The data and details we will be able to gather and analyze from this system will allow transportation safety experts to study and understand vehicle crashes in a completely new way; kind of like having an airplane black box. In the future, we may even be able to intervene during or before dangerous conditions arise. That’s what this is all about. Ending highway fatalities.”
Jarrett Wendt, executive vice president for Panasonic Corporation of North America, said, “We are excited to join Georgia DOT and The Ray in bringing a connected vehicle data ecosystem to the most tech-savvy stretch of roadway in Georgia. Our CIRRUS platform collects critical data and processes it into key insights in real-time, and we look forward to demonstrating its positive effect for safer travel in Troup County and beyond.”
GDOT’s operations division director, John Hibbard, added, “We look forward to working with Panasonic and The Ray as we continue preparing our road network for an increasingly automated future.”