A multipartner project has successfully demonstrated the use of Japanese standard UHF waveband vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications technology for an emergency vehicle priority system in India’s seventh largest city.
In December 2018, the Japanese ITS developers Zero-Sum and Toyota InfoTechnology Center – together with support from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, and in collaboration with the Panasonic Corporation’s Connected Solutions Company, and with approval from the Amdavad Municipal Corporation – conducted a V2X demonstration using the 700MHz waveband.
This was the first demonstration of its kind in the world on a public road and used an emergency vehicle communicating with traffic information variable message signs (VMS) through the Japanese-originated international standard V2X UHF waveband.
Conducted on the West Bank of the Riverfront Road in Ahmedabad, V2X communication devices were installed on an ambulance and on traffic information display boards along the route. When a V2X-equipped emergency vehicle approaches the VMS, the devices communicate with each other and that information is immediately displayed on the board, enabling motorists to clear the way and allow the priority passage of the emergency vehicle.
The demonstration used the UHF 700MHz band frequency for the communication of information, which due to its high penetrability through buildings and natural obstructions and less interference from other devices, is considered to be ideal for the densely populated urban areas in Asia. The demonstration was part of a wider Japanese government-funded project to conduct research for the overseas expansion of the country’s ITS technologies, with the long-term aims of studying traffic accident information from several Asian countries and implementing demonstrations of its UHF V2X technology to improve road safety. This research will cover six countries and regions for traffic accident information research, and three countries, including India, for the implementation of V2X demonstrations.
Compiled by the Japanese Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB), the 700MHz Band ITS Standard (ARIB STD-T109) has been in use since 2015 to support safe driving using V2X communications. The UHF waveband in the demonstration was used under a research license from the Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) Wing of India’s Ministry of Communications, Department of Telecommunications.
The project was led by Zero-Sum, which operates Ahmedabad’s traffic congestion mitigation ITS system, and the company was responsible also for coordination with Amdavad Municipal Corporation, local traffic police and the WPC.
The project demonstrated that the UHF waveband provided stable communications interface between the various V2X devices, and it was also observed that by displaying the emergency vehicle approaching information on the VMS, most motorists move aside to give priority passage to the ambulance, enabling its smooth passage along the route.
Following the successful demonstration of the 700MHz V2X-VMS technology, the next phase of the project will further examine and customize V2X messaging sets for the local requirements in India. The next deployment will also aim at integrating a traffic signal control system with V2X communication technology to provide a stoppage-free ‘green corridor’ for emergency vehicles.