Report on Intelligent Transportation System Workshop
In the near future, connected and automated vehicles will change the transportation system. Ambulances might speed themselves to the hospital. Your UPS driver might be a robot. Semi-trucks will likely move in tight caravans in special highway lanes. Vehicle manufacturers are working hard on all of these systems, but safe implementation will rely on infrastructure installed on streets and highways.
Some of that infrastructure is already in place. The Ohio Turnpike’s roadway is equipped with a fiber-optic network that can be adapted for short-range, vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
A workshop addressing autonomous vehicles and Ohio’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) was held at TMACOG in early October. The workshop, one of several being held throughout the state, was facilitated by ODOT and DriveOhio. DriveOhio is an agency working to coordinate advanced mobility technologies to create a fully integrated system. The goal of these meetings is to collect regional input for the state-wide development of infrastructure. See the DriveOhio flier explaining their goals here.
At the Toledo workshop, a diverse group including emergency responders, representatives of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, public transit, city and county government, and school systems, provided input. Some of the issues raised were weather-related. Will roadside units and/or sensors on vehicles tell other vehicles to prepare for snow or fog? Will the systems even work in snowy conditions? How will infrastructure be implemented in rural vs. urban areas?
Safety is a critical component of an automated transportation system. ODOT points out that 90 percent of accidents are caused by driver error. Systems that force safe distances between vehicles and that keep vehicles in lanes are expected to greatly reduce the rate of accidents. Highly automated systems will also improve options for handicapped people and those who don’t drive.
Stakeholders with a concern about ITS and automated vehicle technology are invited to participate in a DriveOhio survey. Click here.
ITS is a concern of TMACOG’s System Performance and Monitoring Committee. For more information on that committee, contact Lisa Householder, transportation planner and data analyst: 419.241.9155, ext. 1124.