The Florida Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Florida Transportation Builders Association and one.network, recently activated a one-year statewide technology pilot program to test a new Lane Closure Notification System or LCNS.
[Above image via the Florida DOT]
This LCNS pilot test began in early June, with a statewide rollout to over 500 highway construction projects anticipated over the next few months
Florida DOT said the main goal of an LCNS is to improve the safety of highway workers by alerting drivers about active work zones or lane closures, while also aiding motorists in navigating these work zones safely and efficiently.
The system leverages the latest GPS and mapping technologies to provide advanced notices to motorists through leading GPS apps and services, noted Jared Perdue, Florida DOT secretary, in a statement.
When using one of these mapping services, users will receive work zone notifications in the same manner – for example, by voice alert and visual notification – that they receive other alerts along their designated routes, such as for incidents or traffic congestion.
The key feature is that this new LCNS program integrates into mapping services already used by drivers – providing real-time and accurate work zone information through their preferred mapping app or device.
“Safety is our critical mission [and] this innovative real-time Lane Closure Notification System will be essential for improving construction worker and motorist safety in work zones across Florida,” Perdue said.
The program allows Florida DOT work zone supervisors to use one.network’s “Live Link” smartphone application to geometrically map out lane closures and deliver near real-time alerts to GPS companies that will update drivers on any upcoming work zones or lane closures via smartphone navigation applications, such as Waze.
Florida DOT said more navigation apps should join the pilot test soon, including Google Maps and Apple Maps. Information provided to navigation app providers includes accurate beginning and end-points of lane closures, temporary work zone speed-limit changes, and construction worker presence – creating increased safety for all, a better experience for motorists, and helping to keep construction projects moving forward.
Overall, Florida DOT anticipates gaining several benefits from the LCNS, including:
- Reduction in work zone crashes, fatalities, and serious injuries.
- Improved worker safety.
- More construction lane closures identified and tracked in real-time.
- Automatically share real-time lane closure information with travelers via third-party navigation application systems and automated driving systems.
- Improved travel time reliability and reduced congestion by informing road users about lane closures.