Federal and state programs to advance communications technology between vehicles and highway infrastructure have been ongoing for more than fifteen years, and TxDOT is currently developing several applications to implement this advanced safety and congestion management technology.
The Texas Connected Freight Corridors Project is a collaborative effort with public and private stakeholders to deploy connected vehicle technologies to more than 1,000 commercial vehicles to improve traveler information, asset condition management and system performance.
Connected vehicle technologies enable cars, buses, trucks, trains, roads and other infrastructure, and smartphones and other devices, to communicate or “talk” to one another.
Vehicles on the highway, for example, use short-range radio signals to communicate with each other, so that every vehicle on the road is aware of where other nearby vehicles are. Drivers receive notifications of hazards on the roadway, such as animals, pedestrians, wrong-way drivers, low bridge heights and slowed or stopped traffic due to recurring or non-recurring congestion caused by work zones, special events, weather events and crashes and other incidents.
Goals and Benefits of Project
The goals of the Texas Connected Freight Corridors Project are to:
In the near term, trucks operated by the freight partners will receive more timely and accurate information about traffic and roadway conditions that greatly affect safety and mobility. Truck drivers will also experience benefits from smarter traffic intersections around their distribution centers, which will enable vehicle interaction with traffic signals to reduce stops and truck idling time. This helps the environment, reduces wear on the trucks and roadways, and saves money for freight operators.
In the long term, TxDOT believes these applications can be transferred to other highway corridors where similar safety and mobility challenges exist. Trucks are a significant portion of the traffic on Texas highways. Improving freight operations in these corridors improves mobility, reliability, and safety, while reducing environmental impacts, not only for freight operations, but for all travelers and vehicles operating on these highways.
Scope of Project
The project covers the 865-mile Texas Triangle of I-35 (including extension to Laredo), I-45, and I-10 linking Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. The project is expected to start before the end of the 2017 calendar year, and is scheduled for implementation over the next four years.