A federal grant will help the Georgia Department of Transportation install new traffic signals and ramp meters to help manage metro Atlanta traffic through "connected vehicle" technology.

Metro Atlanta highways, intersections to get smarter with federal grant

Georgia has won a federal grant to help develop technology that will allow vehicles to talk to traffic signals and interstate ramp meters.

The $2.5 million grant will help the Georgia Department of Transportation install some 1,700 traffic signals and ramp meters across metro Atlanta. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said the “connected vehicle” technology will “offer high-tech solutions to relieve congestion and improve safety and efficiency on the nation’s highways.” 

Connected vehicle technology allows vehicles to communicate with each other and with smart phones, traffic signals and other devices. 

“Cars on the highway, for example, would use short-range radio signals to communicate with each other, so that every vehicle on the road is aware of where other nearby vehicles are,” according to a U.S. Department of Transportation summary of the technology. “Drivers would receive notifications and alerts of dangerous situations, such as a potential red-light violations; icy roads ahead; or an oncoming car, out of sight beyond a curve, swerving into their lane to avoid an object on the road.” 

This year the department paid for 10 projects across the country valued at $53 million. 

The intent of the Georgia project is to outfit all interstate ramps and signalized intersections on major roads in the region with technology that allows them to communicate with vehicles, according to Monday’s federal grant announcement. 

GDOT also plans to develop a tool to share real-time traffic data with developers and traffic managers.

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About the Author

David Wickert
David Wickert
David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois...