Southeast Michigan Testing the Cutting Edge of Connected Car Technology

The Internet of Things is quickly taking over roads, even before cars start driving themselves en masse around the world.
June 26, 2017, 11am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"General Motors Co. is testing a safety feature in Macomb County to warn drivers that traffic signals are about to turn red," reports Melissa Burden.

According to Burden, the new feature is just one of several new technologies demonstrating southeast Michigan as "a leader in developing 'connected' roads and traffic signals that will 'talk' directly to the next generation of cars." 

"The Michigan Department of Transportation and Macomb County are two of the government units working with carmakers and auto suppliers in testing of the life-saving technology," according to Burden. The state's investments include "at least 100 miles of 'connected” highway corridors with roadway sensors for testing in Metro Detroit, with plans to grow to some 350 miles." Macomb County has implemented a series of public-private partnerships "piggybacking off the county’s recent infrastructure investments." The county also has a $13.5 million Communications and Technology Center that "brings together traffic-monitoring, weather-mapping, road-department cameras and a video wall with 40 monitors."

One of the highlights of the article is the explanation of roadside signs with "black-and-white 2D codes" that resemble QR codes—except these signs are designed for cars, not phones. 3M Co. provided the codes and enabled cars can access information like exact locations, warnings about upcoming work zones, and estimated wait times.

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Published on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 in The Detroit News
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