MDOT director applauds connected vehicle announcement

Contact: Jeff Cranson, MDOT Director of Communications,
Agency: Transportation

Fast Facts:
- State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle said today that the future of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology communications, coupled with advances in automated vehicle technology, will have a revolutionary impact on transportation safety.
- Steudle also believes the technology, endorsed today by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will have a significant beneficial impact on state DOT daily operations, providing real-time information on conditions such as pavement condition (potholes, ice, snow), traffic incidents, and congestion hot spots, through a cheaper and more efficient means than is possible today.
- MDOT continues to work with Michigan automakers, suppliers and technology companies to develop the applications critical for motorist and pedestrian safety and efficiency. Steudle said MDOT's unique position at the hub of automotive development provides Michigan with the opportunity to be at the forefront of using this technology.

February 3, 2014 -- State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle is endorsing a decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to move forward with vehicle-to-vehicle communication for light vehicles, calling it a good decision for Michigan and for safety. Steudle is a national leader in traffic safety and connected vehicle technology, and has long championed the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) connected vehicle research. Commenting on today's announcement, Steudle said: "This is a positive step forward for our ultimate goal of delivering the safest and most efficient transportation system imaginable and a significant announcement for the future of safe mobility. Today is a day that will lead to great reductions in traffic fatalities."

Steudle, a past president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), recently represented AASHTO in Washington, D.C. before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Highways and Transit hearing on connected vehicle technology.

The USDOT is currently sponsoring a pilot safety program of connected vehicle technology in Ann Arbor, using nearly 3,000 cars, buses, trucks and motorcycles outfitted with 5.9 GHz dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) radio devices to test the effectiveness of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. The National Transportation Safety Board formally recommended last year that the technology be installed on all newly manufactured vehicles.

More information on MDOT's connected vehicle research is available online at

MDOT says: Drive like you want to make it home tonight.

MDOT Director Kirk Steudle