Wyoming: Alexa Enabled For Hands-Free Road Updates
Written by Andrew-Rossi on December 29, 2021
Alexa can now give Wyomingites a traffic report, as the voice in the box can now share the most up-to-date W.Y.D.O.T. info on road conditions and closures.
Winter is finally bringing snow and severe cold to Wyoming. Unfortunately, such weather can easily make Wyoming’s highways treacherous and icy.
Despite a lack of people driving the state’s snowplows, W.Y.D.O.T. is working harder than ever to keep roads clear. This fall, many of the department’s districts were understaffed, which increases the time between snowplow runs this winter.
Now, Wyoming’s 511 app can provide highway updates hands-free and at home – all you have to do is ask.
W.Y.D.O.T. released a video explaining the integration of Wyoming 511 with Amazon’s Alexa. Now, up-to-date, hands-free traffic reports are as easy as a simple request at home or in Alexa-connected vehicles.
While Wyomingites will have instant access to all W.Y.D.O.T. alerts and reports, the focus of the Alexa implementation is more targeted to what drivers need and want to know.
“Information about road closures, road conditions, and construction. Those are the primary things we’re focusing on right now because (it affects) the public the most,” says Shane Zumpf with Trihydro.
Trihydro Corporation is a Laramie-based environmental services company. The business offers several services – including information technology – and promotes itself as the largest HUBZone contractor in the continental U.S.
Wyoming is the first state in the nation to make 511 road information available to third-party users.
For W.Y.D.O.T., the Alexa integration means more drivers can get more info while driving safe. During the winter, drivers are encouraged to plan their routes in advance and check conditions frequently, as a highway’s status can quickly change.
Several roads in and around the Bighorn Basin are plowed regularly but not constantly. According to W.Y.D.O.T.’s snow removal operations maps, it’s possible that a highway can become and stay treacherous for quite some time. This is especially true between smaller towns like Meeteetse and Thermopolis, Worland thru Ten Sleep to Buffalo, and Powell to Lovell
If you don’t have Alexa, don’t fret. Wyoming 511 reports will be available thru Siri and Google Assistant within the year.
Wyoming 511 is free to download from all major app marketplaces.