HomeChannelsNewsPanasonic inks deal for advanced transportation data network in Utah

Panasonic inks deal for advanced transportation data network in Utah

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) and Panasonic of North America have signed a deal to develop an advanced transportation data network, the vendor said in a release.

This network will improve safety and mobility on the road by sharing data between vehicles, infrastructure, roadways and traffic operators in real time. 

Through this agreement, UDOT Traffic Operations Center personnel will gain insights into critical events such as weather predictions, traffic patterns and alerts about crashes or construction sites. They will then be able to alert connected vehicle drivers in real-time with alternate routes, delay times, or other helpful information.

The partnership with Panasonic will allow UDOT to accelerate development toward a statewide system for collecting, monitoring and sharing connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) data.

“Embracing and developing this emerging technology has the potential to make our roads safer, reduce congestion, and help the environment through lower emissions,” said UDOT Executive Director Carlos Braceras.

As part of the $50 million partnership, Panasonic will help UDOT install intelligent sensors along selected sections of Utah highways. These sensors, along with similar vehicle-mounted software and equipment, will collect and transmit data at speeds up to 10 times per second, which is then shared with a central cloud-based system.

Panasonic said that this central software platform monitors the information from the sensor/vehicle network and automatically generates alerts that are shared with vehicles, infrastructure components (such as traffic signals or VMS signs), and UDOT personnel.  

“The partnership is intended to be a five-year, five-phase program. The first phase of this new system will encompass 40 installation sites, along with a fleet of 30 state-owned vehicles. Future phases of this system will expand to include 220 installation sites and up to 2,000 vehicles,” Christopher Armstrong, VP for CIRRUS/V2X at Panasonic USA, told Enterprise IoT Insights.

The executive said that the initial phase of this partnership is scheduled to last one year; it began in May 2019.

“UDOT and Panasonic will work together to identify specific locations and scenarios where this system is likely to provide the most benefit by making roads safer, helping traffic flow more smoothly, or reducing congestion. Once these are identified, teams from both organizations will develop new software applications, install sensor networks along the selected roads, and build the control system,” Armstrong said.

“UDOT has deployed connective technology since 2014, giving them an advantage when it comes to having the necessary infrastructure in place to build a connected highway. Utah has one of the leading departments of transportation in the U.S. when it comes to embracing emerging technology. From both a technological perspective and a partnership perspective, UDOT was a natural choice for Panasonic,” Armstrong added.

Newark, NJ-based Panasonic of North America is the principal North American subsidiary of Japan-based Panasonic.

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