CDOT proposes more technology, virtually connecting cars for safer driving

Oct 28, 2015

Winter ski traffic on I-70 is notoriously terrible. State officials are trying other methods, besides technological innovation, to improve safety and efficiency.
Credit sustainaski.wordpress.com

Something called a virtual guardrail could make it safer-- and faster-- to drive on Interstate 70. The Colorado Department of Transportation unveiled a push this week to use more technology on Colorado’s roadways. CDOT hopes to start by increasing how connected drivers are when they’re out on the road.

The agency is exploring how to make sure drivers have a better sense for what’s going on, by using smart phones and other methods. “There’s a couple of ways that you can start getting vehicles to talk to each other,” says spokesperson Amy Ford. “So that they know, ok, the car up in front of front of me is slowing down and I need to brake… there’s things happening on the road that we need to be aware of.”

One way to do that is through an app. Self-driving vehicles would also be able to communicate and respond. Ultimately there could be sensors, or virtual guardrails, on the side of the road, to alert drivers as well. Early steps will be in 2017, with a focus on I-70 from Denver to Vail, but changes could have a significant effect on traffic continuing to Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction.