Parts of U.S. 31 in Greenwood will soon be a test area for new technology that will send information to some vehicles, such as a countdown to when traffic lights will change.
The Indiana Department of Transportation is testing new traffic signals, which use vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, between Madison Avenue and Worthsville Road in Greenwood. The signals can tell vehicles certain information, including upcoming traffic congestion and weather conditions.
Greenwood is one of two communities where the new technology is being tested. The state hopes to collect data and show traffic engineers how the technology would work on a larger scale through the testing in Greenwood and in Lake County in northwest Indiana.
Few vehicles have the technology now. Currently, the most popular vehicle that has this capability is the Cadillac CTS. Lockhart Cadillac, a car dealership, is within Greenwood’s test site, allowing a larger amount of vehicles to be part of the experiment because people will be test driving them in the area.
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But the new technology is expected to be used in more cars in the future, so the state wants to begin to learn all it offers before it becomes more prominent, said Scott Manning, strategic communications director at INDOT.
Greenwood will be a test area for the state to see how the technology works between cars and the signals and to gain data, such as how many people are currently using the technology. The state does not currently have a timeline for how long the test will last.
Only a limited number of vehicles currently have the technology that works with the signals, but the state needs test areas because more cars will likely use the technology in the future, Manning said.
“It’s not prevalent, but I think with innovation in the automotive industry, they tend to start with a small subset of vehicles to gauge popularity and then you’ll see it become available in more models and brands,” Manning said.
Drivers can expect the new technology to be installed in already existing stoplights as early as August.