Green light for safety on Virginia roads

Safety and comfort go hand in hand on the roads of Virginia.

Published November 19, 2020

Imagine yourself in your car. Do you feel the comfortable seat, the refreshing air conditioning, hear that great sound system? Now imagine yourself driving in the morning traffic, trying to catch every single green light to get there in time, avoiding road works on the way.

Different image, huh? 

This is exactly where high tech safety features such as vehicle communications come into the picture, to calm our nerves and increase our confidence behind the steering wheel. Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology means that cars talk with each other and with the infrastructure around them using standardized digital messages to help us get through the traffic as safely as possible. 

One of the great features of this technology helps us with the traffic lights. I like to drive smoothly, like flowing water in the riverbed, so I tried to memorize the timing of the traffic lights in my area, but the situation is just too random for this. Not to mention unfamiliar roads on which this approach doesn’t work at all.

The V2X deployment set up by Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), partnering with Commsignia, Audi, Traffic Technology Services, Qualcomm and American Tower Corp, provides a solution to catch those green lights. 

Commsignia’s roadside units are transmitting green light information using cellular V2X (C-V2X) communication technology in a standardized Time To Green message, so we can see a countdown to the green light. Audi Q8 SUVs already have this kind of Traffic Light Information service, but the cars used in the trial were retrofitted with C-V2X onboard units to increase the level of safety. 

C-V2X messages warn of oncoming red light violations which allows us to react quickly, before we get into a messed up situation.

Another way V2X can help is when lanes are closed due to road works. This is most risky for workers, countless fatal accidents happening every year. C-V2X-enabled vests warned staff in the work zone with sound and light alarms of the V2X-enabled Audi Q8s passing nearby, and a notification also appeared in the vehicles, saying: Drive carefully! 

We’re looking forward to many more deployments like this on the roads to have a safe and smooth drive everywhere. Now tell us, is it a better picture of how you want to imagine yourself in a car?

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