Motorists can learn more about road and travel conditions from their mobile devices without driving distracted


The Wyoming Department of Transportation has the Wyoming 511 Travel Information app available for download for Android and iOS devices that provides much of the same information as the 511 desktop map. The app has a hands-free, eye-free option that provides information safely to motorists as they travel.
“Our mobile app ensures motorists get the vital information they need while traveling without ever having to look away from the road,” said WYDOT Director Bill Panos. “We never want motorists to drive distracted. Driving distracted can have serious consequences and we want our travelers to be safe.”
The way the hands-free, eyes-free function works is a driver selects that option and then the app uses the mobile phone’s position to communicate the latest information while the person is driving.
“All you have to do is effectively turn it on and forget about it, and it will read information to you as you come upon incidents or conditions on the highway,” said Vince Garcia, GIS/ITS manager.
Besides the hands-free, eyes-free option, the app also has a map, a “where am I feature” and a submit an image option. All of those functions are used when a person is not driving or by a passenger.
“Our 511 app has been downloaded over 140,000 times,” Garcia said. “The traveling public relies on this app to get the latest information so they can make informed decisions about their travel plans.”
The map provides road condition information, access to web cameras and truck parking availability so motorists can view that information before traveling and plan ahead. 
Under the map’s options section, users can also activate construction and truck parking icons to get additional information. The truck parking feature is something new for the app. It can provide motorists with information on truck parking availability.
“If a motorists sees that the information about truck parking isn’t correct, we also have given them the ability to report how many spots are available,” said Suzie Roseberry, GIS/ITS developer. “That information gets updated on the mobile app for other users and it also goes on our desktop map.”
For the “where am I” feature, motorists can learn their coordinates and where the nearest route and mileposts are. The submit an image is also a newer feature on the app. A person can take a picture when they are not driving and send it to WYDOT. 
“The images are vetted by our TMC to ensure they are of Wyoming roads,” Roseberry said. “We can then use those images to update conditions on our travel information systems. In the future, our plan is to post those on the app and our website so other people can view them.”
Visit WYDOT’s 511 website at https://wyoroad.info to learn more about the app and to get the latest road and travel conditions.

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