U.S. Senate highway bill would fund smart roads

Part of a bill in the U.S. senate to renew road funding would also add smart infrastructure across the country and business to Michigan.

The Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Safety Technology Investment Flexibility Act of 2015 would add funding opportunities for infrastructure that has cars and roads working together. The act is sponsored by Michigan Senator Gary Peters.

Peters said smart cars and roads are part of Michigan’s continuing legacy.

“We already know how to make automobiles better than anyone and we have the cars that have horsepower and torque which I think are the two most important parts of a car but there’s a lot more to an automobile now and that’s in the sensors and technology and Michigan needs to be the leader in that.”

Peters said even though this technology is new, and changing, and expensive, he says the potential for safety is greater.

“When you have the ability to develop a technology that has the potential of eliminating most car crashes and therefore saving tens of thousands of lives in this country it’s certainly a cost well worth it.”

The proposed Senate solution would extend federal road funding for six years.

The House of Representatives also has a road-funding bill in the works that would temporarily extend funding.

Peters said continuing to pass short term measures is not a successful way to fund roads or a way to spur innovation.

It would replace road funding measures set to expire July 31.