Governor Bob McDonnell today launched a research project with the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, which will use a section of Interstate 66 in Fairfax County as a test bed for connected-vehicle and connected-infrastructure technology. The four-square-mile test bed is located on I-66 between the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) and Nutley Street, and on parallel U.S. 50 and U.S. 29.
Speaking about the announcement, Governor McDonnell remarked, "This test bed will allow Virginia researchers to develop a range of applications that will result in faster infrastructure repair and maintenance, better emergency-response times and incident and congestion management. Most importantly, this research seeks to save drivers in Virginia both time and money by offering technological solutions for a safer driving experience and improved travel times on those unavoidable workday commutes. I applaud this creative partnership between two of our excellent universities and the public sector. It goes to show that by working together and harnessing emerging technology we can improve the lives of Virginians."
The test-bed area has 43 locations equipped with wireless infrastructure units and two additional mobile wireless units to collect data. Twelve research vehicles will collect information, such as acceleration, braking, curve handling and emissions; four of the 12 are the only connected motorcycles in existence. The connected-vehicle test fleet also includes a bus and a semi-truck to test public-transportation and freight applications.
To learn more about the Virginia Connected Vehicle Test Bed or the current connected-vehicle research that the Connected Vehicle/Infrastructure University Transportation Center (CVI-UTC) is conducting in Northern Virginia on I-66, visit http://www.cvi-utc.org/.