In an editorial in the Cleburne Times-Review, Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan, wrote about the streak of daily fatalities in Texas since November 7, 2020:
An average of 3,700 mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children, and loved ones have been needlessly taken from their families every year. Last year, just under 4,500 loved ones died on our roads. Half of those fatalities were caused by driving at unsafe speeds or not wearing a seatbelt. If only different decisions had been made, more than half of those who died last year would be alive today. Be the driver you would want next to you, in front of you or behind you on the roadway. You have the power to help end this daily death streak on our roads. Together we can #EndTheStreakTX.
We couldn't agree more: we have the power and responsibility to keep our roadways safe.
Metropia Inc, the technology solution contractor for Houston’s ConnectSmart program, partnered with Applied Information Inc. to integrate its TravelSafely connected vehicle (CV) technology in the ConnectSmart app. Users of the ConnectSmart app entering an active school zone will receive an audio speed alert if they are driving above the designated speed limit.
Houston’s ConnectSmart program is funded by the Texas Department (TxDOT) of Transportation and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) through an Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant. ConnectSmart supports TxDOT’s End The Streak campaign, which aims to raise awareness and actions to end 22 years of daily motor vehicle fatalities.
First Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) Platform Integration with CV Technology
ConnectSmart’s app connects with more than 2,500 active school zone flashers in the Houston area, supported by Applied Information’s TravelSafely cloud-based Connected School Beacon System.
The TravelSafely system defines each school zone with a virtual boundary, and the SDK embedded in ConnectSmart’s app constantly communicates with the backend cloud system, following the SAE J2735 V2X standard, to detect if the driver has entered an active school zone. Upon entering an active school zone, the driver will receive an active alert, and a audible alert is triggered if the vehicle speed exceeds the active school zone designated speed limit.
The TravelSafely integration allows the ConnectSmart app to not only enhance safety within school zones but also expand to other areas in the future, such as railroad crossings.
You can see Metropia and Applied Information in action together: click on the image below to view a demo action in a Houston Independent School District zone.
After launching the ConnectSmart program on September 16, 2022, the Houston ConnectSmart app has had more than 12,000 downloads. ConnectSmart has raised safety awareness with about 10,000 impressions of the safety features of the app in a 3-week campaign.
Houston ConnectSmart is the first multimodal MaaS platform to adopt Applied Information’s smartphone TravelSafely (C-V2X) technology. This integration, along with the following safety features, can potentially improve drivers’ safety.
School zone alerts are not the only safety feature available in the ConnectSmart app. Metropia Inc., is collaborating with TxDOT, TranStar, and the City of Houston to integrate available data to support the following features:
One-tap calling access to Tow-and-Go roadside assistance from the app
Pre-trip and en-route alerts regarding incident events along the driver’s planned route
Warnings pertaining to Low Clearance structures
Alerts when entering a school zone and provides a school speed limit and speeding alerts
Viewing of real-time messages posted on dynamic message signs (DMS)
User select-bike routes reflecting High Priority bike lanes
Viewing of messages and TranStar real-time highway video feeds within the app
We will continue to share more on the ConnectSmart program and ConnectSmart app features in future blog posts. For more information on the Houston ConnectSmart App, visit www.houstonconnectsmart.com/