Bus Gets Green Light Priority with New Devices Being Tested in Michigan

Written By: Dana Afana

New technology that would give traffic signal priority to public transportation vehicles is being tested this week on a Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) bus in Macomb County as part of a pilot program, Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials announced on Monday.

Vehicle-to-infrastructure technology is being tested at six intersections of Groesbeck Highway between Masonic Boulevard and Metropolitan Parkway, using dedicated short-range communication devices.

Vehicle-to-infrastructure technology uses wireless data and signals to communicate safety, mobility, or environment-related conditions between, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Devices installed along the roadways will transmit information to the bus via an on-board unit that will notify the driver of signal timing changes and potential red-light violations.

"Collaboration is vital, and Michigan again is where the technologies of tomorrow are being tested today," MDOT Director Kirk T. Steudle said in a news release. "This testing is the first step in making public transit safer and more efficient, and these first steps are being taken right here in southeast Michigan."

Plans are being made to install these resources along dedicated transit lines on M-3/Gratiot Avenue and M-53/Van Dyke Avenue/in Macomb County, according to a news release.

"One of SMART's goals is to look for innovative ways to improve our transit service, especially along our busiest and most congested corridors," said John C. Hertel, general manager of SMART. "To be a part of the Michigan's first public transit pilot with connected vehicle technology is a great opportunity."

Danlaw, Inc. is providing the on-vehicle dedicated short-range communication devices.

"This joint effort between MDOT, Macomb County, SMART, and all the suppliers shows how this technology can directly improve the lives of residents by enabling on-time public transportation," said Andrew Donaldson, Danlaw program manager.

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