Road safety with C-V2X – at a four-way ITS intersection, with no traffic signals

Car companies Audi, Ducati, and Ford have joined with California chip maker Qualcomm to prove the “maturity and potential” of cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology by showing their vehicles navigating a crossroads by themselves.

The showcase at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas presented a “cooperative intersection” within an ‘intelligent transport system’ (ITS) mock-up, where the safety of the vehicles – variously, Audi and Ford motor cars, and a Ducati motorbike – was governed by their C-V2X links with other vehicles, pedestrians, and road infrastructure.

All vehicles were equipped with Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipsets, and guided towards a four-way intersection, featuring no conventional lights or signals. Between them, each vehicle negotiated its course, and shared non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions.

The quartet exhibited use-cases of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) safety scenarios.

The V2V use case featured the ‘intersection movement assist’ (IMA) scenario, where a vehicle is warned it is not safe to enter an intersection. IMA addresses angle collisions at intersections.

The V2P scenario exhibited how C-V2X can be used to protect vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and bicyclists. The V2I use case featured a so-called ‘work zone warning’ scenario, where the vehicle is warned to use caution because of road construction ahead.

Don Butler, executive director at Ford for connected vehicle platform, commented: “Imagine a person suddenly steps into the street from out of view and your vehicle stops because it was alerted by that person’s smartphone. This is just one example of how C-V2X can connect smart vehicles to a smart world.”

Anupam Malhotra, director of connected vehicles at Audi in the US said: “The four-way stop use case provides a glimpse of how cooperative driving will be possible with C-V2X in the future. Besides additional safety, C-V2X is designed to also improve comfort and efficiency, which can be applied to both current and future autonomous driving.”

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