V2X (vehicle-to-everything) conquers tough roadway curves, construction zones, red lights

WASHINGTON, DC — Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication works. A demonstration at the Washington Auto Show provided road information and warnings in three scenarios: a curve approached too quickly, a car approaching a traffic light turning red, and roadway construction with a closed lane.

The demo was part of the Washington Auto Show’s media days. Where other shows are big on new car intros, Washington bills itself as the Public Policy Show with a two-day forum (Mobility Talks) featuring members of Congress, automaker experts and representatives of the consumer (this year, Gary Shapiro, head of CES and the Consumer Technology Association). The V2I demo was also part of the show, as hybrid, EV and hydrogen-car media ride-and-drives have been in the recent past.

5.9-GHz roadside unit sends traffic info, warnings. Inset: prototype in-car transponder.

5.9-GHz roadside unit sends traffic info, warnings. Inset: prototype in-car V2I transponder.

The push for V2V, V2I

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to see vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity implemented in new cars starting in the next five years. Like much in Washington, that timetable is very much dependent on the new administration and its priorities. V2V may well save lives, it will certainly add to the cost of cars, it will probably reduce crashes, and it will mean additional regulations. In the meantime, the DC roadshow went on with a demo of V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communications. V2X comprises the more commonly heard terms V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure).

The demos were held in the vast parking lots of RFK Stadium, two miles from the Capitol, in areas that weren’t taken up by dozens of tractor trailers retrieving and hauling away staging, platforms, and other materials from the presidential inauguration the week before. It was staged by Crash Avoidance Metrics Partners LLC (CAMP), working on behalf Fiat-Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, General Motors, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and Volkswagen.

V2I warnings in plenty of time to react

I rode in a six-year-old Nissan G37 (predecessor of the Q50) with an On-Board Unit (OBU), here a Denso V2X transceiver installed (to report speed and location), and the center stack display modified to receive warning messages. We ran three traffic situations where V2I could be helpful.

Construction zone with lane closure. We approached the construction zone at 40 mph, what the feds call a Reduced Speed Zone Warning / Lone Closure Warning, or RSZW/LC. As the car came into range of a temporary, 5.9-GHz V2I transceiver, or Road-Side Unit (RSU), the car was sending position and speed status. The RSU transceiver informs (warns) if vehicle speed is over the zone limit (here 40 approaching a 25 mph zone) or if a lane change is required. “Lane Closure Ahead” popped up on the center stack. Eight seconds later, the horn honks and the screen displays “Lane Closure — Merge Over.”

The RSU is broadcasting, every second, a Basic Information Message (BIM), in this case the geometry of the work zone, lane closures, and speed limits (normal limit, work zone limit, or workers-present limit). See the video below; the voice is test driver Dana Schuckman.

Curve Speed Warning (CSW). The car approaches a curve at a speed too fast to negotiate safely. The car sends the speed-location-status information. The RSU sends road geometry/map info (here, a curve with a 30-meter radius), the posted limit, the advisory speed, roadway material information, and road surface condition. The in-car transceiver combines the road information (curve radius, dry road surface, asphalt, zero-degree bank angle) with its capabilities (centripetal force and stability/rollover possibilities for the road currently). Then it issues warnings (on-screen or horn) to slow down when the car, driving the posted 30 mph, is going too fast for the curve under current conditions.

Red Light (risk of) Violation Warning (RLVW). The car approaches a signalized (traffic light) intersection as the light goes yellow. The RSU broadcasts, once a second, a road geometry map and optionally an exact GPS location and real-time clock information. Ten times a second, the RSU sends Signal Phase and Timing (SPaT) information, meaning where the traffic light is on its path from green to yellow to red. The vehicle alerts the driver to the yellow light and then warns if the driver is in danger of entering the intersection after the light goes from yellow to red, which would be a violation. Approaching at 40 mph, we got increasingly animated warnings until the driver hit the brakes and slowed in time to stop before the intersection.

The purpose of the red light warning is to warn the driver he or she is about to run the red light. One hopes it’s also not being used to automatically issued speeding citations. Everyone says that’s not the intent. At least not now.

Is this the way to deliver V2X?

Automated driving technology sometimes moves away from the initial direction. Self-driving at one time was going to be accomplished by magnetic striping laid down the middle of each roadway lane.

This vision of V2X involves roadside transceivers (RSU) at every intersection and curve in the road. For Curve Speed Warning, it would require a moisture sensor that correlates to the road’s friction. Another vision might be crowd-sourced data and in-car maps that are kept up-to-date. Cars ahead could report rain, either from the driver/passenger tapping a button (as with Waze) or indirectly: Windshield wipers and headlamps on, traction control or ABS triggered on several cars, temperatures below 32 degrees, and lower overall speeds would suggest slippery and wet conditions.

Audi, BMW, and others are already getting traffic light information directly (from phase information sent to a regional data clearinghouse). Audi and others have suggested we take a long look at cellular data to send and receive information. More and more cars will have cellular modems built in. And unlike V2X transceivers, users won’t mind the cost, because it also lets them stream music, video, and map updates, and send emergency crash notification requests.

Source : https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/243542-v2x-conquers-bad-curves-construction-zones-red-lights

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