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Thousands of smart sensors are waiting to be upgraded with V2X

A swarm of new technologies shows up each day, but sometimes we just have to connect existing systems to reap more benefits rather than continuing to use them separately.

Published October 1, 2021

There are thousands of smart sensors along city roads to monitor traffic, and it is worth installing a V2X unit next to each one to improve road safety locally, especially for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.

According to the USDOT, pedestrian fatalities increased by 44% between 2010 and 2019, urging improved safety

The pedestrian safety action plan of USDOT mentions V2X, more specifically the V2P or vehicle-to-pedestrian solutions that can sense the environment and communicate that information to other vehicles. The USDOT highlights some V2X applications as well, for example warning systems for visually impaired pedestrians to alert drivers of their presence at the crosswalk.

Both V2X and smart sensors are proven solutions in transport, and it’s easy to combine them. The traffic sensors are usually already connected to an IT network with built-in cyber security, which is also suitable for V2X. On the other hand, expanding V2X roadside units with sensors is also simple, it doesn’t require disassembly of the RSU, so we can maintain the hardware and software integrity of the device.

Just as infrared cameras can detect all road users day and night, regardless of size, shape or visibility, added V2X systems can increase road safety for all road users.

Sensors provide valuable data that is mostly used in traffic management centers. V2X brings in new, more local possibilities. A roadside unit can detect pedestrians and alert other road users immediately. In addition, of course, the data is sent to the traffic centers in the same way. 

Roadside units in such settings broadcast various standardized V2X warnings to the road users, for example Pedestrian Safety Messages (PSM) and Cooperative Perception Messages (CPM). Both of these message types can be processed by V2X-enabled vehicles to give them a more accurate picture of road events. This method can be used to determine the position of vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, e-scooters.

On-board driver assistance systems can calculate a better route based on V2X data, so drivers will use only free and safe lanes.

Moreover, an RSU can take control of local traffic, which is a much more sophisticated response to dangerous situations. It is possible to turn traffic lights red to close the intersection, activate a flashing warning, or close the level crossing barrier to avoid accidents. 

The solution is always adapted to the specific situation.  

It is easy to see that a V2X car can play an active role in these events. However, non-V2X vehicles can also take advantage of V2X-connected sensors through on-board cloud services, which already distribute information about various road events and weather updates. 

Commsignia provides solutions to identify vulnerable road users, predict their movement, using various types of sensors, including cameras, infrared sensors, lidars and radars. Our goal is to collect and combine overlapping data to get a complete picture of what’s happening on and around the road. This way, we can provide reliable information to road users who can make better decisions and travel on the roads with more confidence.