Are you smarter than the highway?
In Washington state, highways are getting smarter. Crews will install a series of electronic speed-limit and lane status signs over each northbound lane on Washington state’s I-5 between Boeing Access Road and I-90 in Seattle.
The high-tech signs are set to be activated on Aug. 10 to help improve safety and reduce collisions, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
This new traffic technology, also known as active traffic management (ATM) is a key element of WSDOT’s congestion relief program, “Moving Washington,” and will help manage traffic during the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement.
“Along with strategically adding new roadway capacity and managing the demand for lane space with more commute choices, this statewide solution also uses technology and new techniques to make our highways more efficient and our transportation system better prepared for increasing traffic demands,” says the WSDOT in its press announcement about the new smarter highways.
An innovative approach
I-5 commuters will experience safer and smoother traffic on a roadway that detects changing traffic flows and automatically adapts to traffic congestion by adjusting the speed limit and providing drivers with useful traffic information.
The signs will display speed limits from 40 to 60 mph (click here for a YouTube video on Washington state’s smarter highways) , depending on traffic levels. The result will be fewer traffic collisions and less collision-related congestion.
Automatic variable speed-limit technology is the latest innovation under WSDOT’s Moving Washington program, which is using new tools to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and manage congestion, according to WSDOT.
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