RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Transportation says it will use a $2.1 million grant to partner with N.C. State University and the city of Raleigh on a pilot program to improve transportation safety and efficiency.
NCDOT says the program will focus on evaluating the impact of connected vehicles on driver and pedestrian safety.
"As technology continues to evolve and change, so too must our methods of keeping people safe," state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette said in a statement Wednesday. "This program will give us the tools to do just that and prepare for a future in transportation that will be autonomous, connected and electric."
The four-year project will be called the Multimodel Connected Vehicle Pilot.
According to a release from NCDOT, "The pilot's initial stages will involve the creation of a mobile application, designed to send safety notifications to its users - pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and operators, and motorists. The app aims to reduce risks to pedestrians, for instance, by alerting them when they have priority to cross the street and managing their wait time expectations. In addition, the app will be accessible to visually impaired students at the Governor Morehead School near NCSU's campus."
Officials say motorists will be alerted by the app when pedestrians are in the intersection, speed limits are exceeded, red-light violations have occurred, or there is work zone activity.
As part of the program, NCDOT says a new intelligent traffic signal system will be installed on the Wolfline bus routes on N.C. State's campus, which will benefit students and faculty.
The grant is made possible by the FAST Act.
Passed in 2015, the FAST Act provides $305 billion between the 2016 and 2020 fiscal years for highways, motor vehicle safety, public transportation and research, technology and assistance programs, according to the NCDOT's release.