75ES3358 4x5 @ 72 Res

We have all seen them. Motorist Assist vehicles frequent our highways, helping stranded motorists disabled by a flat tire or someone simply running out of gas. They seem to show up at the right time somehow. I had often wondered about that and recently learned a little more about how the process and how Motorist Assist functions so successfully.

KC Scout has cameras that watch the ebb and flow of traffic on major highways. The Missouri and Kansas departments of transportation provide funding for the system.

Published on electronic signs all over the area, the information from this system updates drivers on how long it will take to get to a specific destination ahead of us. Those same signs also provide guidance involving an accident ahead, giving basic detour information to assist us in avoiding a traffic jam.

The KC Scout system also sees when a car has stopped along the highway. When that occurs, the nearest Motorist Assist vehicle is dispatched to see if the driver needs any assistance.

When an accident occurs, the Scout system sees that incident and Motorist Assist is deployed to put out signs and provide protection to our emergency responders. This helps traffic flow and enables lanes to reopen as quickly as possible. This support technique has resulted in an average 90-minute reduction in traffic tie-ups due to serious accidents, compared with the situation before the implementation of the Motorist Assist program.

Data from KC Scout are fed to companies that provide navigation information for automotive GPS systems. If you have a traffic module with your navigator, you are benefiting directly from the KC Scout system when your GPS routes you around a traffic tie-up.

I recently visited the KC Scout center and was very impressed with the “war room” style monitoring system that provides the KC Scout personnel with all the information they need to keep traffic flowing as safely and smoothly as possible throughout the region.

For more information about KC Scout, go to http://www.KCScout.com