The Virginia Department of Transportation will help deploy cellular-based vehicle-to-everything or C-V2X communication technology on select Virginia roadways in the third quarter this year in partnership with automaker Audi of American and Qualcomm Technologies.
[Above photo by Audi of America]
This pilot program involves connected car systems designed to boost safety around school buses, warn motorists about dangerous road conditions, alleviate congestion at traffic chokepoints and curbsides, and help improve the performance of automated vehicles that are nearing commercialization – even potentially let cars communicate with mobile devices in order to prevent pedestrian-vehicle collisions.
The basic C-V2X platform will be used to deliver work zone warnings on highways as well as signal timing information on approaches to traffic signals at arterial roadway intersections. In both cases, the firms said C-V2X communications can help deliver critical safety messages between vehicles and infrastructure with minimal latency, while less time-sensitive alerts are designed to be provided via C-V2X using the cellular network.
“VDOT has long supported research into the benefits of connected and automated vehicles, particularly those aspects that have the potential to significantly enhance safety,” said Cathy McGhee, Virginia’s director of transportation research and innovation, in a statement.
“The inclusion of shorter-range, direct communication in the 5.9 GHz band using C-V2X is exciting as it can allow us to evaluate this emerging communication option for essential and practical safety and mobility services, including saving the lives of maintenance and construction personnel in work zones,” she added.
This is the latest in several V2X testing programs involving state DOTs. For example, in August last year, The Ray in Georgia – a corporate venture devoted to technology testing along an 18-mile-long strip of Interstate 85 – joined forces with the Georgia Department of Transportation and Panasonic to test V2X data “ecosystem” designed to improve roadway safety, reduce traffic congestion, and improve organizational efficiency.