Drivers cancan use SYMBOLS to communicate with drivers, including taillights, high beams, and the horn. But automakers imagine a future in which vehicles themselves can send messages on where they’re headed and the places they’ve been.
Connected cars – vehicles with technology that lets them communicate with other motorists, pedestrians, and infrastructure nearby- are being evaluated globally. This July, Columbus, Ohio, is the latest city to start a connected-vehicle pilot.
Connected vehicles have been obliterated by their more well-known counterparts: autonomous cars. While all autonomous vehicles possess features of connectivity, incorporating specific technology into vehicles could help prevent accidents and make life easier shortly.
The Connected Vehicle Environment project in Columbus is expected to include up to 1,800 private and public vehicles equipped with specially-designed onboard units and dashboard-mounted head-up displays. These vehicles will be able to receive messages from traffic lights located at the intersections of 113, which include some of the city’s most hazardous crossings. The goal is to research the effects of connectedness on security and traffic flow. Organizers will begin enlisting drivers and putting the units on board in July. Testing is scheduled to start in November.
The technology will provide “basic safety messaging,” which includes warnings to limit speed or be aware of pedestrians ahead, according to Luke Stedke, who oversees communications in Drive Ohio the state’s intelligent mobility center. It is part of the Smart Columbus initiative established after the city was awarded U.S. $40,000 as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)’s 2015 Smart City Challenge.
Columbus is one of two cities in OhioColumbus is one of two cities in Ohio -and Dublin, Marysville in Marysville and Dublin–just recently started testing connected vehicles. In total, it is estimated that the DOT invests more than $40 million into the trials conducted across Wyoming, Tampa, and New York City.
The emotional attraction to connecting vehicles that are not autonomous is driven by the potential for technology to decrease accidents and save lives, according to Debra Bezzina from the university’s Transportation Research Institute. Sensors that alert drivers to dangers that are in the blind spot of their vehicles, cameras mounted on streetlights that show pedestrians in the upcoming intersection, and a car approaching that warns drivers of the presence of black ice are but some of the examples of what could be feasible.
“Connected-vehicle technology can prevent 80 percent of all unimpaired car crashes,” claims Bezzina. “So it could save billions of dollars a year.”
The latest technology will also provide better traffic management and greener commutes. Emergency vehicles will be able to move faster through intersections and with all the favorable traffic lights. Motorists, utilizing information broadcast through traffic signals on their speed and timing, could alter their pace to suit and thus reduce fuel consumption.
Connected-vehicle connectivity can be run using a wireless tech called Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) or the cellular-based alternative known as Cellular-V2X. DSRC can be scalable, has low latency, and can work well in urban settings, according to Mechanical engineer Joshua Siegel from Michigan State University (MSU). However, it is limited in distance (roughly 1 km).
C-V2X, on the other hand, is characterized by more latency. However, it has more excellent performance and more bandwidth. Experts say that the launch of 5G will improve latency, 5G will boost speeds, and some nations, such as China, have opposed cellular networks. However, it needs to be clarified if the United States hasn’t given a specific stance on the issue, which has created a lot of uncertainty for car makers.
Like other pilots across the country, the upcoming Columbus trial will use DSRC technology that is further along the path to being commercially accessible than C-V2X modules.
Many car makers are eager to integrate communications technology since it has advantages that self-driving cars can’t. It’s one reason the technology can work in any weather, unlike the notoriously unpredictable radar and lidar detection systems.
Another benefit: “You can get information from infrastructure that you just cannot get with an autonomous vehicle,” Says Bezzina. While sensors for autonomous vehicles may be able to notify you that a red light is ahead, she adds, connected-vehicle technology can tell drivers that “there’s an intersection ahead of you that’s right here, and here’s the location of the intersection is and the light will remain red for two seconds. It’s much deeper information.”
The next step for connected vehicle trials is to expand the number of vehicles tested up to a possible 1 million cars, according to MSU’s Siegel. “We’re not seeing the full benefits of scale in the pilots we’ve had today,” Siegel declares. With a more significant number of cars connected to the internet, cars could be grouped or move close on the highways while still being secure, and the timing of traffic signals could be automatically adjusted to accommodate the weight of vehicles.