SIE Professor Leads Connected-Vehicles Tests Near Phoenix

Professor Larry Head during a demo of his connected-vehicle technology in Maricopa CountyMaricopa County is leading the country in testing new technology to help cars navigate traffic – even without a human operator – by transmitting real-time road information from vehicle to vehicle.

Aiding in their efforts is Larry Head, SIE professor and director of the Arizona Transportation Research Institute, who developed the connected-car technology being used in the tests.

"The idea is the cars are talking to each other; they can also talk to the infrastructure," he said in a recent interview with 91.5 KJZZ. "They can talk to the traffic signals and say, 'Here I am!' And the traffic signals can say 'Oh I see you're there. Let me give you a green light and let you go through.'"

The technology could ultimately prevent red-light accidents, quicken truck traffic and help ensure pedestrians cross the street safely.

Head's development of the connected-car technology in Maricopa earned him recognition as the 2016 College of Engineering da Vinci Fellow, as well as membership on the Arizona Self-Driving Vehicle Oversight Committee.

Photo of Larry Head during a demonstration in Maricopa County courtesy of Casey Kuhn/KJZZ

University of Arizona College of Engineering