Today, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), The Ray, Kia Georgia, and Panasonic demonstrated a fully operational connected vehicle environment along 18 miles of Interstate 85 known as “The Ray Highway,” utilizing the Cirrus by Panasonic® connected vehicle data management platform that detects real-time roadway events and communicates safety-critical messages to travelers about driving conditions. The partnership between the four organizations is focused on raising awareness of the life-saving potential of connected vehicle technology as well as deploying real-world use cases with measurable benefits. Showcasing GDOT and Kia Georgia vehicles equipped with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology, GDOT can now deliver real-time situational awareness to drivers on equipped roadways in this key logistics and manufacturing corridor, a fast-growing region of West Georgia.
GDOT, The Ray, and Panasonic are now providing “ride-along” experiences for stakeholders where drivers will be warned of hazardous conditions ahead on the roadway – in advance of the event coming into the driver’s view. These “ride-along” experiences showcase how connected vehicle technology can detect and warn drivers about weather events, work zones, hard braking, and even vehicle crashes in a real-world highway environment. The experience includes an in-vehicle visualization of traveler warnings, the capabilities of V2X technology installed on and along roadways, the digital communication that enables the intelligence of connected roadways, as well as the Cirrus cloud platform point of view that manages the data for GDOT in order to detect events and provide real-time alerts to drivers.
“It is important that Georgia DOT leads in the deployment of transportation technology that benefits all drivers, that helps to move freight across the region more efficiently and safely, and that advances Georgia as the technology epicenter of the east coast. We know that connected vehicle technology will save lives, and we are determined to see it come to life in Georgia as soon as possible.” said Russell McMurry, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation. “Today is all about the power of partnerships and what we can accomplish for Georgians when we partner with organizations like Kia, The Ray, and Panasonic to advance our roadways.”
“Kia Georgia is proud to partner with each of these organizations while showcasing the outstanding products being built by the Kia team in West Point, Georgia,” said Stuart Countess, Kia Georgia’s president and CEO. “Customer safety is the number one priority for Kia Georgia team members and the V2X program is a forward-thinking initiative that puts Kia at the heart of the solutions of tomorrow, where vehicles and infrastructure communicate seamlessly to enhance the safety and efficiency of travel along our nation’s highways.”
“Connected vehicle technology creates an extraordinary opportunity to increase travel efficiency and driver safety, simultaneously,” said Allie Kelly, Executive Director of The Ray. “With great opportunity comes the responsibility to make investments in the physical and digital infrastructure that is necessary to enable the best that connected and autonomous vehicles have to offer. Georgia DOT and The Ray have made those investments in order to improve and modernize Georgia’s transportation infrastructure, and to offer the traveling public real time, real place warnings about critical driving conditions such as crashes, construction work zones, hard braking, and weather impacts like black ice, flooding and hydroplaning.”
“In the tech industry, we talk constantly about building technology with purpose rather than developing technology for technology’s sake,” said Chris Armstrong, Vice President of Cirrus at Panasonic’s Smart Mobility Office. “We are proud to be partner with such mission-driven organizations in the Georgia DOT, The Ray, and Kia Georgia. The power of perspective really stands out to me in this project: we are solving transportation challenges by bringing forward perspectives from public, private, and philanthropic organizations where we experience the issues from different viewpoints but are united in our dedication to improving safety for all. We each play a unique role in doing all that we can to champion the wide-scale adoption of this life-saving technology as quickly as possible.”