The Virginia Smart Road is a unique, state-of-the-art, full-scale, closed test-bed research facility managed by VTTI and owned and maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The Smart Road continues to play an important role in the overall success of the Institute and its research endeavors. Transportation scientists and product developers have spent thousands of hours conducting research on this high-tech highway since its opening.
The Smart Road features weather-making capabilities (rain, snow, fog), a variable lighting test bed, pavement markings, an on-site data acquisition system (DAS), road weather information systems, a differential global positioning system (GPS), road access and surveillance, and a signalized intersection.
The Smart Road will eventually become part of the public transportation system connecting Blacksburg, VA, to Interstate 81 (I-81). The timetable for extending the road to I-81 will depend on growing traffic demands on the Route 460 Bypass and state and federal transportation funding.
Smart Road features and operations include, but are not limited to:
VTTI houses the Smart Road Control Room through which on-road research is scheduled and overseen.
Dispatchers monitor the Smart Road from a computer-equipped control center that is staffed 24/7. Researchers can directly and indirectly observe highway traffic and driver performance using surveillance cameras available in the control room. Engineers can also control the lighting and the weather on the Smart Road.
VTTI serves as the primary Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) agency for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) 511 Virginia system. The 511 system is designed for travelers and delivers information about events that may affect traffic (e.g., crashes, congestion, road work and weather-related road conditions).
QA/QC services provided by VTTI include, but are not limited to:
These 511 public services include:
The 511 and VaTraffic systems are monitored 24/7, 365 days per year from the VTTI Smart Road Control Room.