Press Release

Transurban and Partners Host Region’s First Automated- and Connected-Vehicle Tests on 95 Express Lanes

Oct 19, 2015

Alexandria, Va. – Transurban partnered with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute today on their automated- and connected-vehicle technology road test on the 95 Express Lanes in Northern Virginia.  The 10-mile test, conducted by the Institute, marked the first time the technology has been employed on a real-world managed lanes facility in the D.C. region.

“As a long-term partner to Virginia, operating one of the most high tech roads in the U.S., we are proud to host today's test. Transurban sees these technologies as vital to improving safety and efficiency on the Virginia Express Lanes and roadways across the America,” said Transurban North America Group General Manager Jennifer Aument.

The test occurred when the 95 Express Lanes were closed to the traffic as part of the Lane’s regular mid-day reversal. The 95 Express Lanes provided the partners with a safe, closed environment to demonstrate the technology. Project staff viewed the testing real-time on live video cameras from Transurban’s operations center control room.  

The demonstration featured a Level 3 automated vehicle performing specific driving actions such as lane changes and automated braking in response to scenarios including a simulated work zone and an approaching law enforcement vehicle. In addition, a connected vehicle equipped with both dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) and cellular technology responded to driving scenarios along the test roadway.

These technologies have potential applications in managed lanes facilitates like the 495 and 95 Express Lanes in Virginia to improve roadway efficiency and safety. Connected-vehicle communications can complement tools like dynamic pricing and lane-use management signals as facility operators look to improve the driver experience and maintain travel speeds. Similarly, the technology can improve the safety of workers and travelers during maintenance activities or repairs.

The demonstration, part of the Virginia Automated Corridors and Virginia Connected Corridors initiatives, was conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and Transurban, which operates the Express Lanes.

About the Express Lanes

The 495 and 95 Express Lanes operate on the Capital Beltway and I-95 to provide drivers with faster and more predictable travel options in Northern Virginia.  Together the 495 and 95 Express Lanes create a region-wide network of free-flowing lanes for more than 40 miles from the Dulles Toll Road to Stafford County. Delivered through a public-private partnership between the Virginia Department of Transportation and Transurban, the Express Lanes give drivers reliable travel choices on two of northern Virginia’s most congested roadways.  For more information, please visit ExpressLanes.com

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