California Department of Transportation
 

California Department of Transportation

Headquarters - Public Affairs Office

Tamie McGowen
(916) 657-5060

May 31, 2007

CALTRANS HONORED FOR RESEARCHING NEW TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE HIGHWAY SAFETY

Sacramento – The Information Technology Services Joint Program Office of the United States Department of Transportation recently recognized the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) for its innovation and leadership in transportation technology by officially including Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration (VII) California into the national effort. Caltrans and the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission have each committed $1.5 million to conduct research on VII to increase mobility on California highways while decreasing fatal collisions.

4,304 people were killed in California traffic accidents in 2005, and Caltrans hopes that implementing VII will lessen that frightening figure.

“VII is an example of a public-private partnership where government has joined hands with private industry to find ways to improve vehicle safety and to increase mobility for people and goods,” said Caltrans Director Will Kempton.

Caltrans is the first public agency in the nation to install VII hot spots. Caltrans and the MTC are developing an approximately 60-mile testbed where VII is being tried in partnership with the auto industry and the University of California, Berkeley.

If VII were implemented, every car manufactured in the U.S. would be equipped with a communications device and a Global Positioning System (GPS) so that data could be exchanged with a nationwide, instrumented roadway system. Data transmitted between Dedicated Short Range Communication units along the roads and vehicles could warn a driver of impending dangers. The vehicles themselves could also serve as data collectors for traffic and road conditions. This information could then be passed on to drivers in real time and help increase safety, as well as relieve traffic congestion.

For more information go to www.path.berkeley.edu/VIICalifornia/ and read all about how Caltrans’ innovations are improving California.