A lot of people are heading out for road trips this holiday weekend, which is the kickoff for summer travel season.
But summer is also road construction season: so how to keep those road workers safe when there are also a lot of cars out there?
A partnership at Virginia Tech may have a solution: the smart work zone.
Currently, when crews start road work, they set up barriers, like traffic cones, fences and those orange barrels.
The smart work zone system creates a digital boundary around the same work area.
Meanwhile, the workers are wearing high-tech safety vests.
If they step outside of the boundary, they can get a message urging them to go back where it’s safe.
But because the system knows where the workers are at any given point, it can also feed that location data to navigation apps drivers use in their cars, like Waze or Google Maps.
Now of course drivers should slow down throughout a work zone, but if they’re driving through a long stretch of traffic cones, and their app lets them know there are workers just ahead of where they’re driving, maybe they’ll take that much more care behind the wheel.
Virginia Tech, the Virginia Department of Transportation and a company called GeoStabilization International deployed the system earlier this month on a work site in southwest Virginia.
It’s been tested in several other work zones in the state.
And if it keeps working as intended, maybe it’ll show up on a road or a highway near you.
Now if you still need a road trip destination for the weekend, we’ve got one for you…
A museum in New Mexico will take you through the history of a key component of road trips.
It’s the Classical Gas Museum, which celebrates the history of gas stations and all the signs and attractions that have come with them.
Though your museum about the 70s hit by Mason Williams might need a different name. Thanks etc
Virginia Tech Transportation Institute researchers to deploy smart work zone in Wise, Virginia (Virginia Tech)
The Classical Gas Museum Is One Of The Strangest Places You Can Go In New Mexico (Only in New Mexico)
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