Although several state DOTs are investing in AV research and pilot programs, Colorado’s RoadX program may be farther down the highway than most. Led by the Colorado Dept. of Transportation—in conjunction with several private-sector partners, including design firms AECOM, Atkins and CH2M (now Jacobs)—RoadX aims to push the pace of innovation in smart transportation and infrastructure.
“The goal of RoadX is to capture and partner with the private sector in bringing these formative technologies to enhance Colorado’s transportation system,” says Amy Ford, CDOT’s new chief of advanced mobility. “We have other innovative future mobility programs underway, but RoadX is the tip of the spear.”
Ford says that RoadX looks at transportation infrastructure in a new way. “We now imagine that we’re not just building roads anymore. Technology is one thing, but how do you build it to serve the public? There are many key parts of the equation,” she says.
Current RoadX initiatives include partnering with Arrivo to build a new test track for AVs, mapping all electronic-vehicle-charging stations throughout the state, testing commercial deliveries using self-driving trucks, placing a test section of smart-ramp-metering technology on Interstate 25 south of Denver, improving real-time traffic data in mountain freeway corridors and planning and implementation of a full-scale Hyperloop One test system along the Front Range of the Rockies.
“It’s like a race to the moon in the transportation sector. The autonomous vehicle is driving that race—and that changes everything,” Ford says.