An inconvenient construction zone in Michigan will soon become one of the country's first connected highways. The Michigan Department of Transportation and 3M are installing vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology in a three-mile stretch of I-75 in Oakland County. This project will help pave the way for the advancement and safety of connected and autonomous vehicles.

The I-75 Modernization project will take four months to complete, and will allow it to serve as a test bed for emerging transportation technologies. Roadside dedicated short-range communication devices will deliver valuable information to connected vehicles. Advanced all-weather lane markings and retroreflective smart signs are not only easier for human drivers to see, but it allows for greater visibility for sensors on cars (machine vision), increasing safety of robot and meat-based drivers alike.

"Technology is transforming not only how we live, but also how we drive," says State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. He adds, "In the spirit of Michigan's commitment to collaboration in the smart mobility sector, we are excited to partner with 3M on this project to make the concept of connected roadways and autonomous driving a reality."

A number of groups – automakers included – are working to develop connected vehicle and V2X technologies. Audi, for instance, is testing a new Traffic Light Information system that allows the car to display the remaining time until the light turns green. Cadillac is adding vehicle-to-vehicle communications to its 2017 CT6, allowing the cars to locate each other and avoid hazards.

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