It is no secret to anybody that has traveled the highways of the nation in the past few decades that work zones due to highway construction present a plethora of problems. From major traffic delays to safety concerns for workers, there is no shortage of things that could and do go wrong. Drivers are very often left to wonder what the exact reason for the delays are, with no more than a generic “Expect Delays” sign to alert them to trouble.
Cities and states spend major amounts of money on trying to find practical solutions to their traffic management issues. Before now, there was not much planners could do besides implementing traditional methods to try and ease bottlenecks and soothe the growing frustrations of commuters and travelers.
With the advent of cars that are “connected” to the internet and other information systems, these problems could swiftly come to an end. Local governments are sinking money into what is called a “smart work zone.” These zones consist of a network of sensors, computers, and advanced signage that are all capable of relaying real-time information to drivers of connected cars. This means that up-to-the-second traffic, road hazard, and blockages due to accidents can be transmitted directly to the on-board computer of the computer. The network can then offer solutions on how to avoid back-ups or, in the case of back-ups being unavoidable, how long the delay is expected to be.
Drivers can access this information before they even get on the road. This way, if the trip is not of a crucial nature, they can decide for themselves if they should wait before getting on the highway. The lack of huge traffic jams and mounting frustrations will go a long way towards keeping road workers safe, as well.
The initial “real life” testing of such a solution will take place in Oakland County on a several mile stretch of I-75. Many are keeping their eyes on this technology as it could be a true savior on many fronts. With this type of solution available, the future truly is here.