Michigan road agencies and General Motors’ Research & Development are collaborating to showcase the state’s leadership in the connected and automated vehicle environment by successfully demonstrating smart signal technology. Successful demonstrations were recently conducted in Macomb County, adjacent to GM’s Warren Technical Center, as development vehicles engaged in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication at two intersections on Mound Road.

In collaboration with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Macomb County Department of Roads, the GM development vehicles were able to receive data from the traffic controllers on signal phasing and timing. This collaborative validation of direct data communication between the traffic signals and the vehicles marked a significant step forward into the world of next-generation automotive research and development.

“Once again, Michigan is able to show the rest of the country what the hub of mobility innovation looks like,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We continue to create and develop cutting edge ideas that make the connected infrastructure of tomorrow a reality today.”

The Mound Road traffic signals, located at the intersections of 12 Mile and 13 Mile roads, were able to send real-time data to the vehicles, which could alert the driver of a potential red light violation. It’s this type of connected technology that holds promise of drastically reducing crashes that result in death or serious injury, especially at busy intersections.

“It is critical that we partner with government agencies like MDOT to explore and validate V2I communication,” said GM Executive Director of Research & Development Gary Smyth. “Only through collaboration will we be able bring an advanced technology like this to market in the future.”

Cadillac introduced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications this year in the 2017 interim model year CTS performance sedan. Using dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) and GPS, V2V-equipped CTSs share information that can be used to alert drivers to upcoming potential hazards. These features are adding safety benefits to customers on the road today, and the research and development being done between GM and MDOT on V2I is a promising safety technology that could be added in the future.

With the state-of-the-art Communications and Technology Center (COMTEC) and a robust communication network for intelligent roadway technology, Macomb County is ready to realize the enormous safety and mobility benefits of connected vehicles.

“We are proud to team up with the GM Tech Center and MDOT to show the nation Macomb County is at the center of mobility and technology,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “Our new COMTEC facility is an example of how we can serve the next generation of connected vehicles.”

MDOT continues to build partnerships with industry and local agencies to advance V2I technology to the next level. MDOT deployments continue at a rapid rate as the demand from partners increases.