May 2, 2023
Peachtree Corners, America’s leading smart city, has teamed with cycling safety company Spoke on a major initiative.
The pair are collaborating to deliver what is being hailed as the first-ever connected IoT ecosystem for vulnerable road users at the Georgia hub, 20 miles north of Atlanta, which is leading the way in showing what is possible via connected infrastructure and 5G connectivity.
As part of the partnership, Spoke will be able to test and develop its VRU2X (Vulnerable Road Users-To-Everyone) technologies at Peachtree Corners’ Curiosity Lab, where drivers, pedestrians and autonomous vehicles (AVs) use the public roads each day.
Spoke’s VRU2X system leverages three levels of connectivity – C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle-To-Everything) to provide direct and immediate communication between cars and VRUs; LTE/5G cellular communications for advanced awareness alerts between cars and VRUs; and a camera/radar system for vehicle identification and visualization.
Spoke’s phone-size C-V2X unit – produced in partnership with Qualcomm – is fitted on a bike and sends 10 signals per second to cars and infrastructure around it, ensuring drivers and cyclists are aware of each other before they are in sight. Inside the vehicle, drivers are also made aware of what direction the cyclist is heading in.
The Peachtree Corners program will see Spoke’s C-V2X and VRU2X solutions deployed in some of the smart city’s municipal vehicles, and also be used by road workers. A central C-V2X system – developed by Commsignia – will measure the effectiveness of the tech. In addition, Spoke will integrate its technologies into Curiosity Lab’s existing infrastructure to help grow the city’s C-V2X ecosystem.
“With our partner Qualcomm, we have reimagined the form factor for C-V2X technology, making this solution small enough to fit on a bike without disturbing the biker or impacting the performance,” said Reid Sigety, Spoke’s chief strategy and operation officer. “Partnering with Curiosity Lab not only allows us to continue to improve and develop our solutions further but also gives us a space to see how these solutions will improve in real-world scenarios… with the goal of saving lives across the country.”
Peachtree Corners City Manager Brian Johnson added: “Each year nearly 1,000 bicyclists are killed and over 130,000 are injured in crashes or incidents on public roadways in the United States. Spoke’s technology is the first C-V2X implementation made for pedestrians, cyclists and other VRUs to use while along public roadways. With this in mind, making the decision to partner with Spoke and test these technologies in our city was an easy one.”
The partnership was officially kicked off in the Curiosity Lab Criterium, a bike race that doubled as a showcase for C-V2X technology.
Spoke previously teamed up with automaker Audi to highlight the potential of C-V2X, including a test at Dana Point, California, last year.
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