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Smart Roads: Denver Testing New Technology To Improve Traffic, Safety

By Shawn Chitnis

DENVER (CBS4) – Next week, the Colorado Department of Transportation will test out a new technology placed inside the pavement along Brighton Boulevard to measure the speed of cars traveling over that stretch of road.

"We find technologists and innovators all around the country and frankly the world," said CDOT's Amy Ford. "Who can help us deal with our problems, safety and mobility."

It's an example of the agency's RoadX program, a combination of new ways to improve the driver for Colorado and better educate drivers using those roadways. The use of "Smart Roads" will implement a technology designed by Integrated Roadways, based in Kansas City.

The technology could charge an electronic car or send an internet connection to a vehicle. But CDOT plans to use it for data of cars moving on the road with the potential to use it for other services in the future.

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"A smart pavement that helps you understand if someone has left the road at a really high rate of speed," said Ford. "We're looking at it for a variety of reasons."

The pieces of pavement are made in advance with the equipment needed to connect with cars or measure the vehicle's movements. Each portion is placed one after another when it is installed. CDOT will test out about a mile near Brighton and 38th Avenue for a month.

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"What if our roads could become a digital network connecting drivers with real time information," a video by Integrated Roadways asks. "Embedded with digital technology and wireless connectivity to transform ordinary roads into smart roads."

The testing in Denver will determine if more of the concept can be used along Red Hill Pass on U.S. 285.

"To see if the technology works, to see if this concrete smart pavement actually works the way we think it will," said Ford. "There's still more we need to learn."

CDOT says it is an example of the interest from outside companies and the advancements being made locally to improve the experience on the road for all drivers.

"That's one of the reasons frankly they're coming to Colorado, as far as the innovation we have here, and they're willing to make an investment as well."

Watch the Smart Roads video here.

Shawn Chitnis reports weeknights for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Email him story ideas at and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.


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