Mineta describes 'smart intersection' technology

| 6/26/2003

Federal highway officials are testing “intelligent intersection” technology they think will prevent thousands of traffic accidents every year by, among other things, warning drivers they're about to run a red light or hit a truck.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said, "President Bush and I have made reducing highway fatalities the No. 1 priority for the Department of Transportation. Intelligent vehicle technologies save lives by preventing crashes and are key to meeting our goal of reducing highway fatalities.”

The test intersection, the first of its kind in the United States, is located at the Federal Highway Administration's Highway Research Center in McLean, VA, and will be used to develop and evaluate vehicle-based and vehicle roadway systems.

Products in testing and expected to appear soon in passenger cars include rear-end collision-avoidance systems and roadway-departure warning systems. The program already has produced products such as automated collision notification, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning systems, as well as rear-end collision-warning systems for trucks.

Mercedes Benz already sells passenger cars with rear-end collision avoidance systems, which take partial control of the vehicle to maintain a safe distance using radar, sensors and a global positioning system map. Commercial trucks have the systems, known as “adaptive cruise control,” and General Motors is expected to sell the systems on some of next year's luxury models.