Virginia
Case Study

Pilot project
on the Virginia Smart Road

Published November 10, 2020

Project background

Protecting pedestrians and bikers on the roads is a particularly important topic in the area of vehicle communications, and innovative car manufacturers like Audi are recognizing that V2X technologies allow them to prevent accidents with vulnerable road users. In addition to safety V2X allows drivers to enter intersections more confidently, knowing in advance when the traffic lights turn red.

Commsignia and Audi are collaborating with Qualcomm, American Tower Corp., Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), Traffic Technology Services, and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in deploying cellular vehicle to everything (C-V2X) devices on the Virginia Smart Road to improve safety, offer new services to customers and develop new business models with public and private sectors involved.

Traffic signal information use case is building on Audi’s already established Traffic Light Information (TLI) service, that shows the time until the lights turn green. The new roadside infrastructure is sending low latency C-V2X messages to the Audi Q8 SUVs and warns drivers about an imminent red-light violation.

The vulnerable road user (VRU) use case is focusing on a specific group of pedestrians, road maintenance workers. Safety messages are sent both ways. Roadside personnel in the construction zone were equipped with C-V2X-enabled vests that warned them of the approaching Audi Q8 SUVs outfitted with C-V2X onboard units, and the vehicles also received alerts about VRUs nearby.

Commsignia contribution

Commsignia supplied C-V2X enabled ITS-RS4 roadside units and ITS-OB4 onboard units for the project.

The C-V2X ITS-RS4 platform provides a precise digital map of the intersection and traffic light timing information for each lane.
The C-V2X ITS-RS4 platform provides a precise digital map of the intersection and traffic light timing information for each lane.

Onboard traffic light information is useful for drivers in case they don’t see the lights well due to harsh weather conditions.

V2X message types used in this project:

MAPcontains information about the lanes in the intersection
SPaTSignal Phase and Timing, gives information about the traffic light statuses
TIMTraveler Information Message (DENM in Europe), contains information about road and traffic related issues
BSMBasic Safety Message, describes the vehicle
PSMPersonal Safety Message, similar to BSM, but reporting about humans and animals

Outcome

Vehicles equipped with C-V2X can receive low latency warnings about hazards recognised by the digital road infrastructure. It’s an ongoing project, and the roadside units deployed act as enablers for autonomous driving functions. The Virginia Smart Road project was well received by the U.S. media.

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