The main purpose of intelligent transport systems is to support communication between vehicles, road users and infrastructure. Over the years, transport has become essential for everyday life, however, ever-increasing road traffic has presented us with serious challenges when it comes to congestion, environmental impact and safety. At Letiway, we’re always asking ourselves what the future of mobility may look like, what is next in mobility. In this piece of content, we dive a little deeper into the most recent developments in connected cars to explore and unpack some of the key benefits that come with advanced information and communication technologies solutions can offer.
Connected car technology
The already existing advanced driver assistance systems help motorists stay in lane, maintain safe following speed and distance and safely navigate through intersections. In recent years, to further expand on the benefits of such advanced safety systems, there has been an increased focus on connected car technology, which in the industry is commonly referred to as interactive intelligent transport system (ITS). This kind of technology enables vehicles and vehicle drivers to continuously communicate with each other and with the road infrastructure. Cooperative interactive intelligence technology system can significantly increase the reliability and quality of information gathered about vehicles, drivers, their locations as well as the road environment. This system embraces and uses a wide range of communications-related software aimed at increasing road safety by giving vehicle users warning of local safety hazards way in advance. This will in turn minimize the the impact on the environment, improve traffic management efficiency and maximize transportation benefits for commercial and the public alike.
Interactive Intelligent Technology System – How does it work?
In-car sensors and controllers input and analyze data such as vehicle speed, steering-wheel angle, tyre grip, windscreen-wiper activation and airbag triggering. The results of the analysis are indicative of traffic conditions and possibly hazardous situations such as ice, obstacles or accidents. Cars equipped with either 5G or Wi-Fi technology (ITS-G5) can send a warning message if a problem is detected (e.g. if they have broken down or have stopped suddenly and present a safety risk). In case of ITS-G5 technology, this is transmitted using a communication protocol via a Wi-Fi-like radio link that is specially engineered for use with moving vehicles and has a range of up to around 1,000 metres. Warning messages can be picked up either directly by other connected vehicles in the vicinity or by stationary communication units at the roadside, which in turn can send signals to vehicles and to a server that centralizes information and updates it in real time.
For example, when a car approaches a high accident zone area it sends out a warning signal to the cars that are behind it. These then pass on the message to signal other vehicles, and so on like that. Alternatively, the warning signal can also be picked up by a stationary unit close by, this unit will then automatically notifies the central system which will notify the emergency services. A similar process can be triggered for any number of potentially hazardous incidents such as temporary roadworks, animals on the road, traffic jams and more.
Volkswagen is one of the first vehicle manufacturers to fit a V2I communication system as standard with the Golf 8. It uses ITS-G5 technology based on Wi-Fi connectivity. It is interesting that other manufacturers such as Toyota and Renault are also working actively to equip their vehicles with ITS-G5 technology. While on that, another group of car manufacturers such as BMW and Ford are promoting the 5G-based cellular network in a cross-sector partnership between the telecom and automotive industries.
It is evident that we have entered a completely new age altogether in which vehicles are increasingly able to interact and exchange safety information with nearby vehicles as well as roadside infrastructure. Vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication can help to optimize road safety and reduce the number of accidents and casualties. However, with different OEMs currently working on different solutions, interoperability is still an issue. Connected cars will only be able to fully realize their full potential when all vehicles are built on compatible systems and harmonized standards.
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