Niagara Gazette

Features

December 19, 2013

TOM'S CORNER: GM, Dodge recalls and other automotive news

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — While Toyota isn’t necessarily concerned about existing technologies, it is worried about how an increase in the use of the digital spectrum could affect future car-to-car communication necessary as automakers and legislators begin a push toward autonomous vehicles. Toyota also expressed some concern about passengers using WiFi-enabled devices inside of the vehicle that could interfere with the car’s safety technologies. 

Texas toll rates

Fluctuating toll rates based on road occupancy aren’t anything new, but a Texas highway’s tolling lanes set to open (at least partially) this month bring with them a promise that traffic will always move at a minimum of 50 mph. That relatively high rate of speed is promised even in the heart of rush hour on Dallas’ Interstate 635, which traversing the 3.2 mile stretch set to open in December will cost drivers 95 cents. No other road with fluctuating toll rates has promised a specific minimum speed. 

Sensors posted throughout the road will monitor speeds and change posted tolls accordingly. A driver will only be charged the rate at which they entered the toll roads, even if it increases while they are traversing the 3.2 miles. At a minimum, the optional TEXPress toll lanes — conventional, free lanes will also be part of the highway’s redo - will cost drivers 15 cents for the stretch between Preston Road and Greenville Avenue. The ring road around Dallas, one of America’s most congested roads, is currently undergoing a $2.6 billion redo that will add several toll lanes to what was a free highway. As the project nears its completion, more miles of 50 mph-guaranteed toll roads are set to open.

Of course, the TEXPress lanes won’t be immune to slowdowns caused by wrecks. If, for some reason, drivers aren’t able to average at least 35 mph, they could be eligible for an automatic rebate, although the Dallas Morning News reports that the rebates won’t apply to incidents out of the road operator’s control — like wrecks.

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