Selected Va. commuters could make money in car study

WASHINGTON — Drivers who commute on some of the area’s most congested roads (and whose cars have newer technology) have a chance to cash in.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is looking for study participants who regularly drive in Virginia on Interstate 495, Interstate 66, U.S. 29 or U.S. 50, and whose cars have adaptive cruise control technology. Such a feature allows a car to automatically keep pace with the car in front of it, so the driver doesn’t have to brake or accelerate.

The goal of the study is to see how in-car technology can reduce congestion and affect driving behavior.

Selected drivers will receive a smartphone-based system that provides real-time traffic messages. Their cars will also be equipped with a data-collection system that takes in information from such sources as a camera on the windshield and two inside the cabin.

Selected drivers will be paid $300 a month for 12 months, and will get $250 for having equipment installed and later removed from their cars, bringing the total compensation to $3,850.

Drivers also will receive real-time messages on congestion, weather, traffic, safety issues and work zones through a mobile app.

Those taking part “will simply be expected to go about their daily commutes while receiving real traffic updates about their driving environment” and to schedule occasional appointments with VTTI researchers, according to the study’s website.

If you are interested in participating, call 540-231-1583 or email

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