Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Smart Lanes

Real time. Real choices. Real safe.

What are they?

Smart lane signage on Interstate 35W in Minneapolis

Real time information for a more reliable commute

Minnesota’s Smart Lanes are the electronic signs over lanes of traffic that provide real-time information to help motorists make informed decisions about their commute.

The signs display information about road conditions to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and improve safety.

How do they work?

Advisory speed limits prevent crashes and increase safety

The signs will be illuminated during traffic incidents to indicate whether lanes are open to traffic. This use of technology will enhance safety and improve the flow of traffic by providing motorists information about the conditions within their lane (and alert them to what’s up ahead). The information provided by these overhead lane signs will be real time, designed to help motorists navigate safely through traffic. 

Without Smart Lanes: Street camera captured video of a stalled vehicle crash on I-94 at Dale Street. 

Active traffic management tools have proven effective at reducing collisions and improving traffic flow in Europe. This technology has resulted in several benefits including a 30 percent reduction in collisions and a 22 percent increase in road capacity.