Researchers: 'Connected Vehicle' could prevent wrong-way crashes - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Researchers: 'Connected Vehicle' could prevent wrong-way crashes

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Doing 75 mph on the interstate isn't a problem until the driver going that fast is headed the wrong way.

"This week has been a particularly serious week for these crashes," said Tim Tait, spokesman for ADOT.

Meanwhile, CBS 5 News has learned the Federal Highway Administration is looking to technology to put a stop to that trend.

"They just now signed an agreement to develop legislation to require manufacturers to put it in vehicles," said Lynne Randolph, Principal Engineer at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, TX.

Researchers at SwRI are working with the federal government on a program called "Connected Vehicle" which will allow vehicles to send safety messages to each other.

"It's not only going to go to the wrong-way driver, to tell them they're going the wrong way, but it's also going to go to drivers approaching the wrong-way driver," Randolph explained during a Friday phone interview.

"Connected Vehicle" also connects the vehicle to the road, immediately alerting emergency officials.

"[To]...reduce the amount of time it takes to not only detect them[wrong-way drivers], but also to get the message out to the other people," Randolph added.

But ADOT engineers aren't ready to jump on the "Connected Vehicle" bandwagon just yet.

"There's not any really good technological or infrastructure solutions at this point to prevent wrong way driver collisions," Tim Tait added.

For now, he says they're confident in the infrastructure already in place.

"Lower and increase the number of wrong way direction signs at the entrance ramps and exit ramps, so that we try to get more of an eye line sight for drivers if they're headed in the wrong direction," he said.

Many people have been asking why transportation officials don't just install spike bars at the entrances and exits to the freeway in order to puncture the tires of wrong way drivers.

ADOT say that is something that has been looked at extensively in other parts of the country and they say it is just not a feasible option. The spikes are difficult to install, when a vehicle hits them at high speeds the outcome of hitting the spikes can be unpredictable, and first responders would no longer be able to go in the wrong direction on those ramps in order to quickly get to emergency scenes.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation) All rights reserved.

 

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