Telematics is a general term used to refer any telecommunication devices, from GPS systems to navigation systems, responsible for sending, receiving, and storing information to control remote objects and vehicles on the move, such as an autonomous vehicle. It provides two-way wireless communication possibilities for vehicles regardless of their geographical location.
The transfer of data to and from a moving vehicle is increasingly essential to autonomous vehicles for several reasons. First, autonomous vehicles rely upon telematics to continually update the “state of the world” around them by extracting information from onboard sensors such as cameras, LiDARs, and radars. This information is used for subsequent planning and control of the systems, such as action prediction, path planning, and obstacle avoidance.
Second, Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) permit direct vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), vehicle-to-devices (V2D), vehicle-to-pedestrians (V2P), vehicle-to cloud (V2C), and vehicle-to-home (V2H) communications (unmediated by the Internet). Third, it sends software updates to consumers.
Frost & Sullivan analysis and industry experts estimate that successful implementation of V2V and V2I technologies can reduce up to 80% of non-impaired crashes. A combination of V2V and V2I applications can significantly reduce collisions while changing lanes as well as during intersections. With advancements in technology, V2V and V2I technologies have the caliber to create a zero accident environment in the near future.
This post will explain the various safety applications of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications systems, using DSRC technology. A combination of V2V and V2I applications can significantly reduce collisions while changing lanes as well as while intersecting. V2V and V2I technologies have the caliber to create a zero accident environment in the near future.
1. Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V)
V2V technology enables cars/fleet to communicate with each other resulting in an improved flow of traffic and reduction in collisions. V2V technology, communicating via radio signals, allows two equipped vehicles to “see” each other at times when other vehicles that are only relying on their sensors are not able to detect the presence of another vehicle, let alone determine the other vehicle’s heading, speed, or its operational status.
V2V technologies rely on dedicated short-range radio communications (DSRC), which themselves require no driver involvement whatsoever in order to send and receive information that can be used for vehicle safety functions. V2V communications offer an operational range of up to 300 meters between vehicles to facilitate the identification of intersecting paths that may potentially result in a crash if no driver or vehicle action is taken. Additionally, a V2V system is not subject to the same weather, light, or cleanliness constraints associated with vehicle-resident sensors.
Some of the key vehicle-to-vehicle safely applications are as follows:
- Blind Spot Warning (BSW) & Lane Change Warning(LCW) – While changing a lane, the BSW/LCW feature of V2X notifies the driver about other vehicles traveling in the same direction to avoid the collision.
- Intersection Movement Assist (IMA) – IMA sends an alert to the driver in case of a potential collision at cross points in the road.
- Do Not Pass Warning (DNPW) – DNPW is similar to the BSW/LCW feature, which notifies the driver about another vehicle traveling in the vicinity, but in the opposite direction.
- Left Turn Assist (LTA) & Right Turn Assist (RTA) – It is a feature similar to IMA that notifies the driver of a potential collision with another vehicle at the intersection while turning left/right.
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW) – FCW assists the driver in maintaining a safe distance with the vehicle in the front to avoid the rear-end collision.
- Electronic Emergency Brake Light (EEBL) – On the application of the emergency brake, a notification is sent to the surrounding vehicles about the braking event to alert the surrounding vehicles to avoid any accidents.
2. Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I)
The same DSRC technology that supports V2V safety applications also enables a broader set of safety applications when combined with roadway infrastructure. Therefore, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) serves as the gateway for a broader intelligent transportation system.
DSRC-based V2I communications involve the wireless exchange of critical safety and operational data between vehicles (including brought-in devices) and highway infrastructure, intended primarily to avoid motor vehicle crashes while enabling a wide range of mobility and environmental benefits. The connected vehicle is connected to roadside units such as traffic lights, which act as communication nodes providing various safety and traffic updates.
The key V2I potential safety applications include:
- Oversize Vehicle Warning (OVW) – OVW alerts drivers of oversized vehicles about height or horizontal restrictions, which they may come across in tunnels, bridges, etc.
- Curve Speed Warning (CSW) – CSW alerts the driver of a sharp curve ahead along with the speed limit information to avoid any accidents
- Red Light Violation Warning (RLVW) – RLVW feature updates the driver about the timing of traffic light and alerts him of potential danger in case of red light violation.
- Reduced Speed Zone Warning (RSZW) – RSZW updates the driver when a vehicle enters the work zone or other congested areas, alerting him about the speed limit to be maintained.
- Stop Sign Gap Assist – This technology assists drivers through vehicle gap detections at the STOP-sign-controlled intersections, alerting motorists when entering intersections is unsafe.
- Spot Weather Information Warning – This technology provides in-vehicle alerts or warning to drivers about real-time weather events and locations, based upon information from Roadside Equipment connections with Transportation Management Center and other weather data collection sites/services.
- Stop Sign Violation Warning – Based on vehicle speeds and distances to intersections, this technology will provide in-vehicle alerts to drivers about potential violations of upcoming stop signs.
- Railroad Crossing Violation Warning – This technology will assist drivers at controlled railroad crossings via RSE connections with existing train detection equipment, alerting motorists when it is unsafe to cross the railroad tracks.
The US Department of Transport (DOT) has mandated all vehicles in the US to be equipped with V2V technology by 2023 in order to reduce collisions. The mandate will be implemented in three phases and will commence in 2021. With the implementation of V2V and V2I safety applications, the number of lives potentially saved would likely rise significantly.