VDOT preparing to use artificial intelligence to predict traffic

Midday traffic on the American Legion Bridge on June 14, 2022.
Midday traffic on the American Legion Bridge on June 14, 2022.(Maryland Matters & Virginia Mercury)
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 8:01 AM EDT
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State transportation officials are gearing up to use an artificial intelligence system that will monitor emerging conditions to predict the impacts of traffic disruptions in Northern Virginia and the Fredericksburg metropolitan area.

The rollout will mark the first time that artificial intelligence will be used to predict traffic disruptions in Virginia.

“If the system performs well, expansion to other parts of the state will be a distinct possibility,” wrote Marshall Herman, acting director of communications for VDOT, in an email.

The new AI support system is intended to improve the effectiveness of real-time integrated transportation information, an agency report states. Information is expected to be provided through digital message boards, 511 Virginia, and third-party applications including Waze and Google Maps.

Officials hope the system will reduce congestion, improve safety, mobility, and travel time and make travel times more reliable.

“We’re not just reacting to conditions, we’re actually using real-time and historic data to predict future conditions and to prepare the network,” said VDOT Chief Deputy Commissioner Cathy McGhee at a meeting of the Commonwealth Transportation Board Tuesday.

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NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news...
NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news organization covering state government and policy.(Virginia Mercury)

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