Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra, in partnership with Cohda Wireless, has successfully trialled vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology over Telstra’s 4G network in South Australia, a pivotal first step in developing vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology.
The ‘connected car’ technologies used in V2X communication include vehicles ‘talking’ to infrastructure, such as traffic lights, other vehicles, and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. The use and development of V2X communications will enable the creation of cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) that may allow more efficient use of road infrastructure, better traffic management, and reduced congestion as well as, in the future, coordinated and safe autonomous vehicle operation.
Most importantly, it will likely lead to increased safety for all road users, as the impact of human error can be minimized 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 the company’s plan to show how V2X technology can be supported via its 4G network. “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,” Scott noted.
“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 standardized intelligent transport systems messages over the 4G network to enable interaction of vehicles with smartphone-equipped bicycles.”
Paul Gray, CEO of Cohda Wireless, the world leading supplier of V2X systems for connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), 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.”
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.