The Tennessee Department of Transportation held an industry forum on July 15 for stakeholders from the public, private, and higher education community to discuss the I-24 Mobility Technology Interstate Observation Network or I-24 MOTION.
The I-24 MOTION project is a first-of-its-kind testbed being implemented by TDOT to understand how all types of vehicles interact with each other and the state’s infrastructure to advance congestion management across Tennessee. It will equip a four-mile section of I-24 in the Davidson County area with over 275 ultra-high definition cameras, converting those images into a digital model of how every vehicle behaves with unparalleled detail. All of this will be done anonymously using artificial intelligence algorithms developed by Vanderbilt University.
Automakers and suppliers are investing billions of dollars in adding connectivity and automation features to vehicles, forever changing safety and mobility. These technologies are often developed in laboratory or closed-course settings. Testing in real freeway traffic captures the variability of real-world conditions and human behavior. The information will provide insights the industry can use to build better products and allow TDOT to understand better how to make the most out of these products for managing infrastructure assets.
“This groundbreaking understanding of traffic is more important than ever due to the increasing automation capability of individual vehicles, which are beginning to influence traffic flow through their interactions with conventional vehicles,” said Brad Freeze, director of TDOT’s traffic operations division. “By unlocking a new understanding of how these vehicles influence traffic, vehicle, and infrastructure design can be optimized to reduce traffic concerns in the future to improve safety, air quality, and fuel efficiency.”
The first testbed user will be the U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation-sponsored research with the CIRCLES Consortium, which will study the possibility of smoothing traffic by introducing vehicles equipped with advanced driver-assist systems.
The initial construction of I-24 MOTION is funded by the Federal Highway Administration Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. The testbed design is underway and is expected to be operational in the summer of 2022.
For more information on the I-24 MOTION project, visit the project website at https://www.tn.gov/tdot/projects/region-3/i-24-motion.html.
Photos and video from the industry forum are available by request. TDOT was joined by representatives from Vanderbilt University, Gresham Smith, and Toyota. Each presented its roles and objectives for the I-24 MOTION project.
Complementary congestion management technologies are being installed by TDOT along this same section of the interstate as part of the I-24 Smart Corridor project.