Through a collaboration between Intelligent Imaging Systems, its subsidiary Drivewyze Inc., and INRIX transportation and data analytics firm, New Jersey is now offering a new method of warning truck drivers about any possible safety issues along a 600-mile highway stretch across the state.
“We’ve partnered with Drivewyze and INRIX to develop a real-time traffic alert system for commercial vehicle drivers,” said the New Jersey Department of Transportation in a tweet. “This program is designed to help reduce commercial vehicle crashes on New Jersey state highways.”
According to NJDOT, a fully loaded tractor-trailer needs about 66% more time to stop at an average speed than a passenger car, and rear-end crashes involving a vehicle stopped in line behind one initial crash tend to be common in secondary interstate incidents.
“The ability to alert commercial vehicle drivers to unexpected traffic conditions will improve safety for everyone driving on New Jersey’s highways,” said commissioner of NJDOT, Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “By warning drivers of congestion that is miles ahead, drivers of large commercial vehicles will have the extra time needed to safely slow down.”
Truck drivers will be able to receive alerts two to three miles ahead of an accident or slow down in traffic through Drivewyze’s app or in-cab alert technology. This kind of warning system will help truckers more easily avoid secondary crashes by giving them enough time to prepare to stop.
These drivers will be sent necessary notifications as they operate vehicles throughout New Jersey, including in areas such as the New Jersey Turnpike, the Atlantic City Expressway, Garden State Parkway, and other various highways. The notifications will include warnings for runaway ramps and mountain corridor steep grades, upcoming slow downs–especially when dangerous curves are involved, and signals when approaching a low bridge.
IIHS noted that both North Carolina and New Jersey’s Departments of Transportation utilized participation in the Eastern Transportation Coalition’s Traffic Data Marketplace to be able to implement Drivewyze’s systems into their state’s commercial motor vehicles.
“The New Jersey Motor Truck Association applauds the efforts to provide advance safety alerts to commercial truck drivers via Drivewyze,” said Gail Toth, executive director. “These efforts will help to keep our workplace–the highways–safer for all.”
The alert software has been successful, according to NCDOT’s public relations officer, Andrew Barksdale, who noted that more than 42,000 sudden slow down and congestion notifications have been sent to North Carolina Drivewyze users over the last four months. The states’ DOT is working to analyze the system’s overall safety benefits, as well.
Additionally, over the last few months, Drivewyze underwent a beta test by IIS to monitor safety alerts sent to the system’s users. In New Jersey, 104,000 alerts were released for 14,000 incidents, and 38,000 alerts were released in North Carolina for 7,000 incidents.
“Incidents in this case are either based on congestion (sustained traffic on a road segment for at least three minutes) or sudden slowdowns (temporary queue backups),” said Drivewyze spiderman, Doug Siefkes. “The queue backups could be for any reason: accidents, lane closures in work zones, [or] weather conditions.”
These alerts have an ability to bring significant safety boosts to North Carolina, New Jersey, and any other state which utilizes the software, said director of global communications for INRIX, Mark Burfeind.
Additionally, a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crash-detection study used live traffic data from INRIX and Waze to crowdsource data from Waze’s connected users; the study found early on that this data outperformed data collected by Traffic Management Center employees, finding 86.7% of all reportable crashes in the state’s roadway network.
The study also found that work-zone and secondary crashes in heavy traffic congestion typically brought about more motorist injuries than other reportable crashes, and 46% of secondary crashes took place at least an hour after the initial crash.
The report explained: “The location of these crashes was of particular interest, with 32% of work-zone crashes and 49% of secondary crashes occurring more than two miles back from the origin point of congestion.”