General Motors and Michigan agencies trial V2I traffic signals in Macomb County


The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Macomb County Department of Roads (MCDR) are collaborating with General Motors’ Research & Development division to showcase the state’s leadership in the connected and automated vehicle (CAV) environment by successfully demonstrating smart traffic signal technology.

The partnership has recently conducted successful demonstrations in Macomb County, adjacent to GM’s Warren Technical Center, with the auto maker’s development vehicles engaged in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication at two intersections on Mound Road. Due to the collaboration between MDOT and MCDR, the GM test vehicles were able to receive data from the intersections’ traffic controllers on signal phasing and timing. The partners note that the collaborative validation of direct data communication between the traffic signals and the vehicles marks a significant step forward into the world of next-generation automotive research and development.

Using MCDR’s state-of-the-art Communications and Technology Center (COMTEC) and a robust communication network, the Mound Road traffic signals, located at the intersections of 12 Mile and 13 Mile roads, were able to send real-time data to the vehicles, which could alert the driver to a potential red light violation. This type of connected technology holds the promise of drastically reducing crashes that result in death or serious injury, especially at busy intersections.

GM’s Cadillac brand has already introduced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications on the 2017 interim model year CTS performance sedan. Using dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) and GPS, V2V-equipped CTS models share information that can be used to alert drivers to upcoming potential hazards. The current research and development being done between GM and MDOT on V2I safety technology could be added to Cadillac models in the future.

“It is critical that we partner with government agencies like MDOT to explore and validate V2I communication,” said GM’s executive director of R&D, Gary Smyth. “Only through collaboration will we be able bring an advanced technology like this to market in the future.”

MDOT is continuing to build collaborations with industry and local agencies to take V2I technology to the next level, with trial deployments advancing at a rapid rate as the demand from partners increases. MDOT director Kirk T Steudle noted, “Once again, Michigan is able to show the rest of the country what the hub of mobility innovation looks like. We continue to create and develop cutting edge ideas that make the connected infrastructure of tomorrow a reality today.”

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).