Imagine a world, in the not-too-distant future, where vehicles will one day be able to communicate with other vehicles (autos, trucks, buses, trains), with pedestrians and bicyclists using mobile devices, or with roadside infrastructure (traffic signals, dynamic message signs, closed-circuit television cameras).
For example, vehicles on the freeway would be able to communicate with each other, so every vehicle on the road would be aware of where other nearby vehicles are. Drivers would receive in-vehicle alerts of dangerous situations, such as someone about to run a red light, an oncoming car or someone swerving into their lane to avoid an object on the road. This world is being realized through the use of connected vehicle technology, which can provide:
- Wireless connectivity between vehicles, roadside infrastructure, and mobile devices (e.g., smart phones); and
- Safety warnings that alert drivers of potentially dangerous conditions before the driver is aware of them.
Using dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) or other forms of wireless connectivity (e.g., cellular or wi-fi), connected vehicle technologies include Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) or Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communications.
Federal, state and local agencies around the world are working with the private sector companies (e.g., original equipment manufacturers/automakers, equipment suppliers, technology and telecom), and academic and research institutions to develop and deploy connected vehicle technologies that can provide safety, mobility, operational and environmental benefits to the public. The Connected Vehicle Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is making great strides in this area. See more information about the USDOT’s Connected Vehicle Program.
MTC, in close collaboration with San Francisco-based Automatic Labs, Inc., hosted a two-day “Connected Car Hackathon” to convene programmers, developers, artists, technologists, data analysts, environmental stewards and travel behavior experts to challenge participants to build apps and tools that encourage and support smarter and safer driving habits. While the focus was on developing smarter and safer driving apps or tools, participants could also develop apps that encourage travelers to consider alternate modes of transportation when traveling in the Bay Area.
The event was held on April 9-10, 2016, at MTC’s offices at the Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter, 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, at the Lake Merritt BART station. See more information, including the winning submissions.