October 18, 2022
Audi has presented an extensive demonstration of how its Connected Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) tech can enhance road safety.
The German auto company took to the streets of Oceanside, California, to showcase a variety of scenarios where C-V2X could help reduce the likelihood of collisions between vehicles and cyclists.
The demos were designed to provide a glimpse into potential future technologies incorporating visual and audible warnings for drivers and cyclists that could help prevent accidents.
Audi revealed earlier this year how it was focused on developing the tech, and believes it can enable a pathway toward autonomous driving.
C-V2X is the use of cellular communications between a car and its immediate surroundings on the road, including the likes of other vehicles, road users, traffic lights, crosswalks, road signs, school buses, construction workers and more.
When C-V2X is operating, Audi drivers are informed of potentially problematic scenarios via an in-cabin display, allowing them to adapt their driving accordingly. These prompts ensure dangerous situations are recognized much sooner than would otherwise be the case. At present, the tech can only send messages, but in the future, C-V2X could provide data that would allow cars to react automatically.
Among the alerts highlighted in Oceanside was one called Proximity Warning/Front and Rear Collision Warning. This occurs when a vehicle and cyclist come too close to one another, and a notification appears showing where a collision is possible.
There was also a demo of Cross Traffic Alert Vehicle, which detects if a bicycle is on a possible collision path when approaching from the left or right up ahead.
Right Turn Assist showed how a driver would be advised to wait after giving a right turn signal if a cyclist was approaching from behind on the right-hand side of the car.
Meanwhile, Left Turn Assist alerts the driver if a cyclist is approaching from the opposite direction when they have indicated they are turning left, and is potentially entering the turn of the Audi.
And finally, the Parallel Parking Departure Alert was also demonstrated. In this case, an alert sounds if a parallel parked vehicle detects if a bicycle is approaching from behind when it is pulling out of its spot at the curbside.
While the benefits of C-V2X seem clear, it uses some of the wireless spectrum reserved for safety by the Federal Communications Commission and would require a waiver from the FCC to see it deployed on U.S. roads immediately.
Audi believes its demo illustrated that the time is now right for C-V2X to be rolled out, and is calling on the FCC to grant the waiver in a bid to reduce the death toll of cyclists on U.S. roads, which was estimated by the CDC to be 985 in 2021 – a rise of 5% from 2020.
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