V2X tech connects cars to traffic lights via LTE in South Australia trial

V2X trial
Credit: MSSA/Shutterstock

ITEM: Telstra reports that it has successfully trialed Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology with Cohda Wireless over Telstra’s LTE network in South Australia. Telstra says the V2I trial is a pivotal first step in developing Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology.

To explain: V2X is a 3GPP standard that will be included in Release 14. The objective of V2X is to enable LTE networks to support scenarios such as connecting vehicles to infrastructure (traffic lights, say), other vehicles, and non-vehicle road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

V2X will eventually serve as the wireless infrastructure for driverless cars, but it can also enable smart transport systems with more efficient use of road infrastructure, better traffic management (i.e. reduced congestion) and better road safety.

The Telstra/Cohda trial was intended to demonstrate how an LTE network could support an intelligent transport system using V2X technologies like V2I, says Telstra’s Director of Technology Andrew Scott:

“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.”

Cohda Wireless CEO Paul Gray added there are a number of V2X use cases that can be deployed right now using LTE.

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 to Australian roads.

“Last year we hosted the first on-road trials of autonomous vehicles in the Southern Hemisphere and this year we became the first Australian jurisdiction to legislate to allow further on-road trials,” said South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Stephen Mullighan.“We are positioning South Australia to become a key player in this emerging industry, and by leading efforts to accommodate driverless and autonomous technologies on SA roads, we are pursuing the safety, productivity and mobility benefits of these technologies, as well as new opportunities for our businesses and our economy.”

News of the V2I trial comes just a week after the 3GPP announced it had completed the initial standard for V2X – although that was for Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications, not V2I.

3GPP RAN Chairman Dino Flore said further enhancements to support additional V2X operational scenarios will follow in Release 14, which is targeted for completion sometime in March 2017.

Details of the V2V standard can be found here.

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