Utah’s DoT and Panasonic Partner to Develop Transportation Data Network

Utah’s Department of Transportation (UDoT) and Panasonic Corporation of North America have partnered to develop a transportation data network that will share data among motorists, vehicles, infrastructure, and roadways installations. The real-time network is aimed at improving safety and mobility on the road by providing UDoT’s Traffic Operations Center with updates on crashes, stalled vehicles, severe weather, and other incidents – allowing traffic managers to send out alerts to connected drivers about delay times and alternate routes.

In the initial testing phase, Panasonic will install 40 intelligent sensors along selected state roads which will work in tandem with 30 state-owned vehicles mounted with software and equipment. A central software platform tracks information from the data network and automatically generates alerts. The goal is to identify traffic chokepoints and use the data network to help reduce congestion and keep traffic moving. Once those locations are identified, new software applications will be developed and sensor networks will be installed at key chokepoints. The partners expect to expand the network to 220 installation sites and up to 2,000 vehicles.

Panasonic’s CIRRUS data network is open architecture which will allow other transportation agencies and third-party developers to connect new applications addressing highway safety and maintenance.

“We’re encouraging developers, startups and members of Utah’s academic community to add value… by creating new applications on the platform,” said Jarrett Wendt, executive vice president of Panasonic North America, which is based in Newark, N.J.

“At UDOT, we’re among the most forward-thinking DOTs in the country, and we’re always looking for better, quicker, and more effective ways to move people in Utah,” said UDoT executive director, Carlos Braceras, in a statement. “Embracing and developing this emerging technology has the potential to make our roads safer, reduce congestion, and help the environment through lower emissions.”