Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology has been successfully trialled by Telstra, in partnership with Cohda Wireless, over Telstra’s 4G network in South Australia. This is a pivotal first step in developing Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology.
Examples of V2X include vehicles talking to infrastructure (such as traffic lights), vehicles talking to other vehicles, and vehicles talking to vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
The use and development of V2X communications will enable the creation of intelligent transport systems that may allow more efficient use of road infrastructure, better traffic management (reduced congestion) and, in the future, coordinated and safe autonomous vehicle operation. Most importantly, it will likely lead to increased safety for road users as the impact of human error can be minimised as vehicles will be able to communicate and react to their surroundings.
Telstra believes its 4G and future 5G networks can play a vital role in supporting the faster rollout of intelligent transport systems and V2X applications, making implementation of the technology cheaper and more efficient. Telstra’s Director of Technology Andrew Scott said that the successful V2I trial marked the first phase of Telstra’s plan to show how V2X technology can be supported via Telstra’s 4G network. Scott said that: “While there has been a lot of focus around future transport technology, there has not been much work done to date in Australia on supporting intelligent transport systems via existing 4G mobile networks.”
“The trial we just completed in South Australia confirms that 4G can support V2I applications. These applications included alerting a driver to roadworks ahead, giving green light priority to high priority vehicles, and testing optimal green light timing where the vehicle is informed of the optimal speed to approach a traffic light so that that they get a green light when they arrive, therefore allowing a more continuous flow of traffic.
“However this is only the first phase of our project with additional trial phases lined up for testing Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Vulnerable (bicycles and pedestrians). We are particularly excited about the upcoming Vehicle-to-Vulnerable testing as we will be able to showcase the Australian-first sending of standardised intelligent transport systems messages over the 4G network to enable interaction of vehicles with smartphone-equipped bicycles.”
CEO of Cohda Wireless, the world leading supplier of V2X solutions for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), Paul Gray said “There are a number of V2X use cases that can be deployed right now using 4G, and Telstra’s 4G network is ideal for supporting these. We are very pleased to be working with Telstra towards the shared goal of making roads safer, greener, and less congested.”
The South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan said “We are positioning South Australia to become a key player in this emerging industry, and by leading efforts to accommodate driverless and autonomous technologies on SA roads, we are pursuing the safety, productivity and mobility benefits of these technologies, as well as new opportunities for our businesses and our economy.”
“Last year we hosted the first on-road trials of autonomous vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere and this year we became the first Australian jurisdiction to legislate to allow further on-road trials."
“Our Government is striving to create an environment which nurtures companies developing autonomous technologies, including Telstra and Cohda Wireless, and this exciting initiative demonstrates the progress South Australia is making to take a share of this projected $90 billion industry.”
Telstra, Cohda Wireless and the South Australia Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure are all partners of the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI), a partnership of government, industry and academic partners working collaboratively to research, investigate and help inform the development of robust national policy, legislation, regulation and operational procedures and processes to bring driverless vehicles safely and successfully to Australian roads.
Telstra and Cohda Wireless intend to trial Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Vulnerable technologies in South Australia within the coming months.