Lear Selected by Wyoming DoT for Connected Vehicle Pilot Program

The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is beginning a connected vehicle pilot program, and announced on March 20 that it has selected Southfield, Michigan-based Lear Corporation to supply advanced vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure roadside units and on-board units.

Wyoming is one of the U.S. DoT’s pilot sites for connected vehicles, with a focus on trucking and highway driving in adverse weather conditions. Connected vehicle technology enables trucks and WYDOT’s fleets to “talk” to each other and to “talk” to the roadside infrastructure. By enabling this connection, the pilot project will enable drivers to have 360-degree awareness of hazardous situations, even some they cannot see, according to WYDOT.

Lear will supply advanced connectivity technologies that will allow WYDOT to test and collect data on connected vehicle systems.

When trucks equipped with this technology approach slowed or stopped traffic, they can receive messages in their vehicles to give more reaction time and choices. Or if equipped vehicles pass roadside devices, drivers can receive messages alerting them to hazardous road conditions, crashes ahead, construction zone information, parking recommendations, or other road and travel information. If the equipped vehicle is stranded, the vehicle can send out an emergency notification to the appropriate center for assistance.

WYDOT had planned to equip 400 vehicles and install close to 75 roadside units using connected vehicle technology. Private fleet partner trucks will also equip their vehicles with the new technology.

In addition to supplying all related safety applications to this pilot program, Lear’s E-Systems will supply its Locomate Roadstar, a product made to operate in harsh environments equipped with features like high-precision GPS and dedicated short-range communications.

The pilot program is expected to last for 20 months. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

“Lear is pleased to showcase our unique expertise with both in-vehicle and roadside infrastructure capabilities as well as our commitment to work closely with states such as Wyoming in order to provide vehicle connectivity solutions,” said Frank Orsini, Lear senior vice president and president of the E-Systems business segment, in a company press release. “Our E-Systems team is focused on delivering innovations for automotive connectivity platforms, and our industry-leading vehicle connectivity product offering is the result of our global engineering talent bringing leading products to market.”

“Our team and theirs have worked together in a fine example of public-private collaboration,” WYDOT Director Bill Panos said of the program. “We are proud in Wyoming to be taking a lead in this space and chose Lear since their products, vision, and personnel are at the forefront of the world’s V2X industry.”