‘Vehicle to infrastructure’ comms trialled on 4G network

Telstra and Cohda Wireless team up for V2I tests

Telstra and Cohda Wireless have conducted a trial of ‘vehicle to infrastructure’ (V2I) communications using the telco’s 4G network.

“While there has been a lot of focus around future transport technology, there has not been much work done to date in Australia on supporting intelligent transport systems via existing 4G mobile networks,” Telstra’s director of technology, Andrew Scott, said in a statement.

“The trial we just completed in South Australia confirms that 4G can support V2I applications. These applications included alerting a driver to roadworks ahead, giving green light priority to high priority vehicles, and testing optimal green light timing where the vehicle is informed of the optimal speed to approach a traffic light so that that they get a green light when they arrive, therefore allowing a more continuous flow of traffic.”

Telstra said it was planning vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-vulnerable tests, the latter of which could involve bicycles and pedestrians.

“We are particularly excited about the upcoming Vehicle-to-Vulnerable testing as we will be able to showcase the Australian-first sending of standardised intelligent transport systems messages over the 4G network to enable interaction of vehicles with smartphone-equipped bicycles,” Scott said.

A report released late last month by the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative estimated that introducing autonomous vehicles in Australia could unlock $95 billion a year in economic value. Telstra, Cohda Wireless and South Australia's Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure are ADVI partners.

Last year South Australia played host to the country’s first of autonomous vehicles on public roads. The state’s premier has said he sees the state as a potential testbed for driverless cars.

“We are positioning South Australia to become a key player in this emerging industry, and by leading efforts to accommodate driverless and autonomous technologies on SA roads, we are pursuing the safety, productivity and mobility benefits of these technologies, as well as new opportunities for our businesses and our economy,” SA transport and infrastructure minister, Stephen Mullighan, said today in a statement.

In August, trials of a fully driverless shuttle bus — RAC Intellibus — began in Perth.

In a submission last year to a parliamentary inquiry, Telstra argued that the federal government should undertake an assessment of the social benefits that would flow from mandating the use of autonomous vehicles, such as self-driving cars, on Australian roads.

Parliamentary inquiries at both the state and federal level have recommended the development a national framework for dealing with autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.

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