Utah Department Of Transportation Hopes To Reduce Fatalities With New Technologies

Apr 5, 2019

This year, Utah was one of 10 states granted $3 million to help fund research and implications of advanced vehicle technology.

Blaine Leonard, the transportation technology engineer at the Utah Department of Transportation, is excited for this grant because it could help Utah lower reckless driving.

“In the United States there are about 38,000 people a year that die on our highways; 94% of those crashes have an element of human error," Leonard said. "If we can help the driver with more and better information in the cockpit, the computer will ultimately be safer and more consistent than the human driver is.”

With the $3 million, UDOTplans to implicate connective vehicle technology research into cars to help vehicles communicate with each other wirelessly.

Utah has already used some connective wireless technology on Redwood Road in Salt Lake City by giving buses the wireless ability to communicate with lights on the road in order to stay on schedule with their route without impacting any cross-traffic. By implementing this technology into Utah cars, it could meet their zero goal.

“One of our strategic goals is zero crashes, zero injuries, zero fatalities: we lose too many people on our highways and we want to make them safer and so were shooting to get those down to zero," Loenard said.