Cities, OEMs, and suppliers investing in infrastructure
The adoption of V2X technology in North America and European markets equips new vehicles with the ability to securely and anonymously share information with other similarly equipped vehicles, infrastructure, and pedestrians within a radius of up to 1 km (.6 mi). According to u-blox, Commsignia Inc., and NXP Semiconductors, IEEE 802.11p V2X technology is production ready and has been proven to reliably see around corners. V2X information will augment the awareness of drivers to improve safety, reduce congestion and emissions, thereby delivering real savings and benefits to all road users today and in the future for self-driving autonomous vehicles.
These benefits are why, in May of last year, the three companies announced a collaborative endeavor to address the rapidly growing demand for reliable V2V and V2I technology. A statement they released states that automotive manufacturers are looking for ways to bring V2X to market now, ramping up to 100% implementation in new cars within the next five years. The companies say that the collaboration is intended to accelerate the adoption of V2X technology by building on each of their strengths to improve time-to-market advantages and benefits to automotive customers, with future-proof solutions to optimize investments and mitigate risks.
u-blox, Commsignia, and NXP Semiconductors plan to accelerate the adoption of V2X.
AT&T, Ford, Nokia, and Qualcomm are also hedging their bets on infrastructure communications, and announced plans late last year to conduct cellular-V2X (C-V2X) connected car technology trials. Testing is expected to take place in the San Diego Regional Proving Ground with the support of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), Caltrans, the City of Chula Vista, and intelligent transportation solutions (ITS) provider McCain, Inc. The goal of the trials is to demonstrate the potential of C-V2X technologies, including support for improved automotive safety, automated driving, and traffic efficiency. The trials will also be aimed at demonstrating to automakers and road operators the anticipated cost-efficient benefits associated with embedded cellular technology in vehicles and synergies between the deployment of cellular base stations and roadside infrastructure.
AT&T, Ford, Nokia, and Qualcomm Technologies have announced C-V2X trials in the U.S.
Using direct communication mode, C-V2X is designed to help expand the role of wireless technology for road safety applications by facilitating the ability of vehicles to directly communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones, using the 5.9 GHz band without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription. Complementary to other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) sensors, such as cameras, radar, and LIDAR, C-V2X technology is designed to support 360-degree non-line-of-sight (NLOS) awareness, and is designed to extend a vehicle's ability to see, hear, and understand the environment down the road, at blind intersections, or in bad weather conditions.
For this trial, C-V2X platforms are expected to be installed in Ford vehicles using the Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X solution to facilitate direct communications, and are complemented by AT&T's 4G LTE network communications and ITS platform that takes advantage of wireless base stations and multi-access edge computing technology from Nokia. For the new communication technologies being deployed, McCain will help facilitate the effective integration with existing and emerging traffic signal control infrastructure.
Testing will support direct C-V2X communications operating in the 5.9 GHz ITS spectrum to explore the safety enhancements of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) use cases, including do not pass warning, intersection movement assist, and left turn assist, to name a few. The trials will also support advanced vehicle communication capabilities for improved traffic efficiencies, such as real-time mapping updates and event notifications relayed using AT&T's cellular network and Nokia Cloud Infrastructure.
"The advancement of cellular technology for C-V2X applications is very encouraging," said Don Butler, Executive Director, Connected Vehicle and Services, Ford Motor Company. "This technology promises to meet, and in some cases, exceed the performance requirements of vehicle communication being proposed by relevant government agencies while leveraging existing in-vehicle connectivity frameworks. C-V2X provides a reassuring path to technology advancements necessary to support emerging developments in autonomy, automated driving, and mobility. We are keen to investigate all aspects of this opportunity and support cross industry efforts that make that possible."
"LTE and 5G technologies have the potential to dramatically transform our lives, and none more so than in transportation," said Thorsten Robrecht, Head of Vertical Network Slices, Nokia.
GM is one OEM already deploying V2I capabilities, as seen with its Cadillac brand. A Cadillac CTS sedan successfully demonstrated V2I capability during tests near the GM Warren Technical Center in Michigan. Real-time data was received from traffic controllers on signal phasing and timing. The data from the controllers was sent using dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) protocol, instead of C-V2X as with the aforementioned San Diego trials. The system used by GM alerted the drivers of a potential red light violation at the vehicle’s current speed. The technology used is similar to that of the company's V2V solution.
Cadillac CTS development vehicles alert drivers of potential red light violations via the infotainment system using V2I communications.
Cadillac's V2V solution uses GPS for positioning and DSRC for communication, which can reportedly handle 1000 messages per second from vehicles up to about 1000 ft (300 m) away. V2V-equipped vehicles create an ad hoc wireless network that allows for the transfer of information without relying on sight lines, good weather conditions or cellular coverage.
V2V is included as a standard feature on the 2017 CTS sedan in the U.S. and Canada and complements a suite of available active safety features.
Cities like Manhattan are also getting involved with Connected Signals, Inc. announcing it is adding coverage for traffic signals in the city. Connected Signals says it now has data in three top-10 U.S. city locations: New York City, Phoenix, and San José. Live data is also available covering Montréal; Melbourne; Salt Lake City; Las Vegas; Portland, OR; Christchurch, New Zealand; and a range of other locations.
On display at CES 2018, ITRI’s DeepLook is designed to monitor traffic activities to aid public safety and law enforcement.
Connected Signals also announced that it has developed an advanced system for visual detection of traffic signals for connected and autonomous vehicles. Designed to work on its own or in conjunction with the company’s real-time, predictive, traffic-signal data streaming services, the vision system is designed to recognize traffic signals in real time, 4K, 30 FPS video using standard CPUs. With a reported accuracy rate of better than 98%, signals can be detected under conditions ranging from daylight, night, rain, clouds, and glare. Connected Signals says the system does not require the location of signals to be known in advance, and it recognizes flashing signals due to the 30 FPS frame rate.
Bosch says it's getting involved with community-based parking. According to the company, its system simplifies the search for a suitable space. As commuters using the system drive by, cars automatically recognize and measure the size of the gaps between parked cars, transmitting the data in real time to a digital map. In this way, drivers can have themselves guided directly to free parking spaces.
Bosch is already testing this service in German cities, including Stuttgart. As many as 20 U.S. cities will follow, including Los Angeles, Miami, and Boston.
Connected Signals has developed an advanced system for visual detection of traffic signals for connected and autonomous vehicles.
Helping to keep cities secure, ITRI featured DeepLook at CES 2018. DeepLook is a large-scale cloud-based video analytical technology that integrates video streaming and computing resources. DeepLook is designed to monitor traffic activities so that public safety and law enforcement agencies can respond rapidly to reported incidents. It enables license plate recognition, video condensation, and camera network monitoring. It can reportedly track stolen vehicles or detect tailgating events. It leverages existing video surveillance infrastructure and incorporates cloud computing capabilities to enhance scalability and flexibility of incident analysis, and mass-scale video analysis, condensation, and summarization. ITRI claims DeepLook can integrate in seconds any video or image analytical engines (including the GPU supported AI/DNN model), and it automates and transforms time- and resource-intensive chores into ready information.