Flex and Savari to advance transportation safety with connected car and smart city systems

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Flex, the Sketch-to-Scale solutions provider that designs and builds intelligent products for a connected world, and Savari Inc., a leader in automotive V2X (vehicle-to-everything) safety communication technology, have announced that they are on a mission to improve global traffic safety and efficiency.

As part of a new collaboration that expands on their existing design and manufacturing partnership, Flex and Savari will jointly develop Connected Car and Smart City V2X hardware and software connectivity systems. The new partnership follows the US Department of Transportation issuing a proposed rule last December ‘that would advance the deployment of connected vehicle technologies throughout the USA’s light vehicle fleet’, by enabling vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology on all new light-duty vehicles, ‘enabling a multitude of new crash-avoidance applications that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles ‘talk’ to each other.’

The two companies aim to exploit V2X technology that enables communication between a vehicle and anything in the environment that may affect it, including other vehicles (V2V), surrounding infrastructure (V2I) and even pedestrians using vehicle-to-pedestrian or vehicle-to-phone (V2P) systems. Flex and Savari aim to expand the use of ‘connected’ technologies using:

• V2V technology that enables vehicles to communicate with each other through wireless exchange of data, with the objective of improving safety, reducing traffic congestion, and improving the overall travel and transportation environment;

• V2I technology that enables the wireless exchange of data between vehicles and roadway infrastructure, with key applications including e-tolling, intersection safety, speed management, transit safety and operations, and work-zone or low-bridge warnings. The technology can transform equipment into ‘smart’ infrastructure by incorporating algorithms that recognize high-risk situations while they are developing, and responding with driver warnings and countermeasures;

• V2P technology that enables pedestrians and cyclists to participate in V2X environments by using their smartphone to send and receive alerts, informing crosswalk signals that they need more time, or alerting cars that a pedestrian is in the crosswalk or a cyclist is in the bike lane.

“Every year, there are 1.25 million traffic-related fatalities worldwide; in 2015, there were over 35 thousand in the USA alone. We believe the answer to reducing these terrible statistics lies in vehicle connectivity, which is the primary focus of our work with Savari,” explained Chris Obey, president of automotive at Flex.

“We’ve been working with Savari on hardware design and small scale manufacturing for the past year, and now we are expanding our work to include infrastructure development for smart city technology trials and new vehicle connectivity solutions, furthering our strategic focus on connected cars and autonomous vehicles.”

Ravi Puvvala, CEO at Savari, commented, “V2X technology holds great potential for improving both transportation safety and efficiency in our cities and along our highways. By partnering with Flex, with its global footprint and Sketch-to-Scale services, we are accelerating the development and deployment schedule of our industry-leading V2X solutions for the latest CVP rollouts and other installations. Having been proven in numerous DOT trials, our V2X solutions deliver a positive impact on vehicular safety and smart city infrastructure.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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