Vehicle to Vehicle and Vehicle to Infrastructure Technology promise to change the way we move on our roads. Siva R K Narla, Senior Director, Transportation Technology, Institute of Transportation Engineers, Washington, D. C. writes on the research in these technologies that is shaping the travel scene in the US and Europe.
Driver?s education manual in the next decade could start with an opening paragraph that reads, ?Your car will talk to other cars, to traffic lights, to other roadside devices and the roadway will talk back, too?. Where is Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) technology taking us, one wonders as each generation of cars is equipped with smarter technology than the last. However, the true sign of mastery of any technology and its usefulness is when the user can intuitively adapt to it. V2V and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology initiatives are an attempt to provide a framework to help users transition to the future as seamlessly and intuitively as possible. They are also collectively referred to as V2X technology in the United States and Car2x in Europe. This article briefly introduces the reader to the current state of research and deployment of V2V solutions primarily in the United States and Europe and the underlying technologies hereafter referred to as Connected Vehicle (CV) Technology.
How does the CV Technology work?
Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communication is being architected as a framework of real-time short range wireless data exchange between vehicles in a short range intended to offer significant safety improvements. As per the US Department of Transportation (US DOT), CV technology enables exchanging anonymous, vehicle-based data regarding position, speed & location ? V2V communications for a vehicle to: sense threats and hazards with a 360 degree awareness of the position of other vehicles and the threat or hazard they present; calculate risk; issue driver advisories or warnings; or take pre-emptive actions to avoid and mitigate crashes. At the heart of V2V communications is a basic application known as the ?Here I Am? data message. This message is primarily envisioned to be Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) based but can also be derived using non-vehicle-based technologies such as GPS to identify location and speed of a vehicle, or vehicle-based sensor data wherein the location and speed data is derived from the vehicle?s computer and is combined with other data such as latitude, longitude, or angle to produce a richer, more detailed situational awareness of the position of other vehicles.
The vision for V2V is that eventually, each vehicle on the roadway (inclusive of automobiles, trucks, buses, motor coaches, and motorcycles) will be able to communicate with other vehicles and that this rich set of data and communication will support a new generation of active safety applications and safety systems. V2V communications, US DOT believes, will enable active safety systems that can assist drivers in preventing 76 percent of the crashes on the roadway, thereby reducing fatalities and injuries that occur each year in the US.
Safety Pilot Model Deployment in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment Program is the world?s biggest ever real world test of DSRC based connected-vehicle communication technology with approximately 3,000 vehicles operating on public streets in Ann Arbor for a period of one year (August 2012 to August 2013). The model deployment is being conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) as part of a US $22 million partnership with the USDOT. It is designed to determine how well the vehicle wireless communication technology works in real world conditions and also, the effectiveness of vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) systems in improving road safety. This is also described as a ?scaled-down version of a future in which all vehicles will be connected.? To test the effectiveness of V2X technologies, the model deployment vehicles will wirelessly send and receive electronic data from each other and the infrastructure. In the event of specific hazardous traffic scenarios such as an impending collision at a blind intersection, a vehicle changing lanes in another vehicle?s blind spot, or a potential rear end collision with a stopped vehicle, the data will be translated into a warning for the driver of the relevant vehicle or vehicles.
The project also has 73 lane miles (117 km) of Ann Arbor roadway fitted with 29 roadside-equipment installations that will be used for the V2I portion of the model deployment. Results from this safety model deployment as well as other CV research will be used by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (US NHTSA) to begin developing legislation in 2013 affecting automobiles in US and trucks in 2014. Eight major automotive manufacturers are working closely with the USDOT on this research through cooperative agreements: Ford Motor Company; General Motors LLC.; Honda R&D Americas, Inc.; Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc.; Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Inc.; Nissan Technical Center North America; Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc.; and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.