British road management Software as a Service provider one.network is making inroads into the US with the launch of a major work zone safety pilot with the Florida Department of Transportation.
The Lane Closure Notification System (LCNS) is a first-of-its-kind statewide technology pilot that will allow authorised workers to update lane closure and other construction site information directly from the work zone using a mobile app. The project will use Live Link, one.network’s proprietary shared road management platform that seamlessly connects with America’s major GPS providers. For the first time in the United States, drivers will be able to count on timely and accurate work zone information through their preferred mapping app or device.
In preparation for the rollout, hundreds of road construction work zone supervisors have undergone training on how to utilise the technology. This unprecedented safety project will provide them with one.network’s Live Link smart phone app, enabling workers to geometrically map out lane closures for each work zone construction site, and with the push of a button, close and open the lanes in near real-time.
The digital updates will include the presence of workers and any change in speed limits associated with the closure. The information will then be provided directly to GPS companies who will update their maps for the safety and planning benefit of the driving public. The pilot will cover all planned construction sites across FDOT’s 7 regional districts that together represent more than 12,000 miles of state roads, including the Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. It’s anticipated that the pilot rollout will include over 500 construction projects over the next few months. More than 100 road authorities in the United Kingdom are already actively using the one.network platform, but this will be its first application in the United States.
“We’re extremely excited to work with FDOT to implement Live Link and improve safety for drivers and workers across the state,” said James Harris, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of one.network. “The data and technology we’re bringing to this initiative puts critical work zone information directly into the vehicles and devices of road users. With innovative agencies like FDOT leading the way, we can finally start to reverse the tragedy of work zone deaths and injuries that has become an unacceptable reality on our roads.”
The company says the complexity of the state’s road and highway network makes Florida the “perfect venue” for this pilot. The network ranks 18th in miles owned, but experiences the third highest total of daily vehicle miles travelled at 208 million. At any given time in Florida, there are hundreds of active FDOT roadway construction sites, which puts an overwhelming number of people in daily contact with ever-changing work zones. Statewide crash data from 2017 to 2021 indicate that Florida experienced more than 53,000 work zone-related crashes, including 356 fatalities and 1,904 severe injuries. This pilot is designed to help reduce those numbers and protect construction crews in work zones.
“Safety is critical to the mission of FDOT. This innovative real-time Lane Closure Notification System is the first of its kind in North America and will be essential for improving construction worker and motorist safety in work zones across Florida,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Jared W. Perdue, P.E. “We appreciate the opportunity to be the first in the nation to utilise this state-of-the-art technology and look forward to further collaboration with our construction, maintenance, and technology partners to advance FDOT’s safety goals.”
The project will be rolled out over the next few months and FDOT will require all contracted firms for new road construction to use Live Link to protect workers and drivers.
“Expanding communications technology is going to be key to saving lives in work zones and out on our roadways,” said Ananth Prasad, President of the Florida Transportation Builders Association. “Live Link gives our members a way to tell drivers to slow down and be extra diligent when they enter a work zone. These construction zones are their office and for the first time, we’re giving them a real-time voice in their own safety.”
The Live Link app is part of one.network’s map-based platform which is capable of ingesting and standardising multiple traffic data sources, visualising the data using an intuitive interface, and providing APIs for distribution to third parties. Within the pilot project, one.network will also integrate with Florida’s SunGuide traffic management system to pull in traffic incident and other construction information, and share an aggregated data feed with GPS providers for the first time. Planned construction information will be posted under the current pilot program, with maintenance, utility and other projects to be considered for inclusion at a later date.
(Picture – one.network)