3M and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced they are partnering to utilize connected vehicle technologies along more than 3 mi. of I-75. Using roadway solutions from 3M, the current I-75 modernization project work zone in Oakland County will be transformed over the course of four months to improve safety for drivers and to test advanced vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies on the connected and autonomous vehicles of the future.
The I-75 modernization project will position Michigan to be among one of the first states to test connected vehicle infrastructure at this level of scale. As vehicles become increasingly automated and connected, existing road infrastructure must be updated to ensure safety and reliability of this emerging technology. Signs, pavement markings, temporary traffic controls and vehicle identification systems need to be designed and implemented to pave the way for the data-driven environment of the cars and roadways of tomorrow.
"Technology is transforming not only how we live, but also how we drive," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "Michigan is globally recognized as the leader in automated vehicle research and technology, and through our Planet M initiative we have solidified ourselves as the hub for mobility innovation. In the spirit of Michigan's commitment to collaboration in the smart mobility sector, we are excited to partner with 3M on this project to make the concept of connected roadways and autonomous driving a reality."
3M will be providing MDOT with advanced all-weather lane markings, retroreflective signs with smart sign technology and DSRC (dedicated short-range communication) devices for vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. The updated, modern materials will allow for redundancy and greater machine vision, as well as improved driver safety on the roadways. Additionally, 3M will provide work crews American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-compliant apparel with 3M Scotchlite reflective material to ensure proper worker safety throughout the project.
"For almost 80 years, 3M has been leading the development of cutting-edge traffic and roadway worker safety advancements," said John Riccardi, vice president and general manager, 3M traffic safety and security division.
"We are always looking for ways to collaborate and innovate as the industry continues to evolve. The future of mobility requires an open ecosystem in which industry leaders connect and collaborate to create new technologies that improve our roadways. The state of Michigan is leading the charge when it comes to the future of mobility and we are looking forward to seeing where this partnership goes."
MDOT recently resumed construction on the I-75 modernization project. In addition to rebuilding the interstate, MDOT will realign interchanges and upgrade geometrics to improve safety and travel time reliability. Installation of permanent roadside units (RSUs) are included to further support connected and automated vehicles. Overall, the I-75 modernization project involves rebuilding more than 17 mi. of interstate that will support advanced technology and vehicles of the future.
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