V2X communications and C-ITS services for safer and more efficient driving


The new intelligent mobility technologies being developed over recent years will substantially boost road safety not only of the car passengers themselves but also the more vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists, all in the overarching effort to reduce the number of traffic accidents and victims.

A key element in the development of the intelligent mobility concept is vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications (V2I), lumped together with other aspects as the all-embracing vehicle-to-everything concept (V2X), based on wireless technology designed to ensure information exchange between the vehicle and its whole environment.

Recent years have seen the advent of two principle vehicle communication standards using the 5.9 GHz band allocated to ITS applications. Firstly, there is the IEEE 802.11p standard developed to generate vehicle networks and serving as the basis for implementing diverse protocols such as USA’s DRSC or Europe’s ITS-G5 protocol.

Secondly, as an alternative to 802.11p technology, there is also the cell technology “vehicle-to-everything” C-V2X (also known as LTE-V2X) and present in specifications of the 4G/LTE system. Takeup of V2X communications for vehicles and infrastructure within mobile communications networks is now provided for too in the incoming 5G, which will significantly improve communication-speed and -latency. Implementation of 5G networks will therefore bring autonomous and connected vehicles into the trawl of potential users.

Both standards enable implementation and operational use of cooperative intelligent transportation systems (C-ITS) that are conducive to a safer driving concept including pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclist, cars and heavy goods trucks. Multi-scenario trials of the ITS-G5 protocol in Europe are underway in projects like C-Roads, now in its final phases and paving the way for marketing of the first solutions involving C-ITS.

The European C-Roads platform is now laying down the specifications for a harmonized and interoperable rollout of ITS-G5-based systems. Various working groups and committees are working towards this interoperability and a common view of the implementation of all use cases standardized to date.

In Spain the C-Roads project is running several C-ITS pilot schemes, including a 32-km stretch of the Madrid street called “Calle 30”, with GMV participation. Another C-Roads pilot involves the DGT 3.0 connected vehicle cloud platform that the Spanish Traffic Authority (Dirección General de Tráfico: DGT) is now deploying for Spain’s whole road network. Users will be given real-time information on the state of the traffic and any incident that might crop up, shown on their vehicles’ information screens or on cell phones. This represents further strides towards safer and smarter mobility.

The first standardized C-ITS applications kick-off with the simpler, so-called day-1 services, taking in use cases such as In Vehicle Signage (IVS), Hazardous Locations Notification (HLN), Road Works Warning (RWW) and Signalized Intersections (SI).  For these use cases vehicle-infrastructure messages warn drivers of slow or stationary vehicles up ahead, tailback ahead, roadworks, emergency vehicle approaching, weather conditions, traffic-light priority requests by designated vehicles or signage and speed-limit information on the vehicle’s current road section.

Other services called Green Light Optimal Speed Advisor (GLOSA) will inform drivers of the optimal speed to catch a green light or, conversely, advise of the impossibility of doing so and the need to slow down in preparation for stopping, thereby improving traffic safety and efficiency at city intersections.

The next stage called Day 1.5 services will phase in increasingly complex services providing information on off-street and on-street parking aids, vulnerable road user protection (pedestrians and cyclists), cooperative connected navigation services or intelligent guidance on all types of urban or interurban roads.

All these technologies will be taken up by road operators, telecommunications companies, carmakers, telematic unit manufacturers, cooperative service developers, application providers and ITS integrators within the deployment value chain of connected and autonomous vehicles.

Author: Carlos Barredo Abellón 

Las opiniones vertidas por el autor son enteramente suyas y no siempre representan la opinión de GMV
The author’s views are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of GMV

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