Augmented VRU perception for connected vehicles demonstrated at MCity


Location information on vulnerable road users (VRUs), generated by video and lidar sensors, has been successfully broadcast at University of Michigan’s MCity test bed with SAE J3224-standard sensor data sharing messages (SDSMs) for cooperative perception.

The SAE J3224 message standard establishes a common message format for V2X participants to share and build consensus on detected VRU presence, enabling vehicles, drivers, and infrastructure to enhance VRU safety.

Broadcasting these messages is important for the growth of the V2X ecosystem because the majority of VRUs – such as pedestrians and bicyclists – are not able and are not expected to have devices that directly communicate with V2X infrastructure and vehicles.

The setup at MCity involved P3Mobility software successfully integrating with Advanced Mobility Analytics Group’s (AMAG) state-of-the-art computer-vision enabled Smart Platform.

P3Mobility’s software platform enabled V2X roadside units (RSUs) to broadcast SDSMs in real time. This allows both autonomous vehicles and human drivers to receive information on VRUs that may be out of sight of the vehicle.

“We are very excited to be partnering with AMAG to deliver this new capability,” said P3Mobility director of operations Jeremy Ward. “Vulnerable road user safety is a crisis in the United States where pedestrian traffic fatalities are at a 40-year high. Delivering these safety messages will pave the way to safer roads for all.”

The detection of VRUs is enabled by Advanced Mobility Analytics Group’s SMART Platform. SMART is deployed in AWS’s Panorama edge-computing device to deliver low-latency computer vision machine learning models from existing video or lidar sensors to detect road users and track their trajectories measured in milliseconds.

The technology continuously monitors traffic at intersections, mid-block crossings, and other sites to provide safety critical VRU data to P3Mobility’s platform for the creation and broadcast of the SDSM.

“The opportunity to partner with P3Mobility to improve the safety of VRUs in connected corridors for our customers is extremely exciting,” says Simon Washington, AMAG’s CEO. “The number of potential applications we are discussing with partners like P3 Mobility to improve both safety and operations through V2X applications is growing rapidly, with high-impact applications already identified in freight priority, rail, and VRU safety in both urban and rural settings.”


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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).