Vulnerable road user protection with effective communication
Connected vehicles, simply put vehicles that are able to ‘talk’ to each other and share useful information are no longer a fantasy.
This concept of vehicle to vehicle communication, commonly referred to as ‘V2V communication’ has attracted the attention of researchers, vehicle manufactures, communication service providers and the general public. With the efficient use of V2V technologies our roads will have better traffic controls, higher energy efficiency and most importantly less lives lost due to road accidents.
V2V technologies are galloping forward and in the near future all common vehicles will be equipped with communication capabilities. In today’s world almost everyone carries a smart phone wherever they go, simply almost everyone on the road has smart communication capabilities. Thus, how advantageous would it be if the non-driving road users are able to communicate with the vehicles! UTS along with Intel Corporation has launched a new project that aims to propose technical solutions specially tailored to protect the Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) while ensuring efficient communication between vehicles and pedestrians (V2P communications).
While the formal definition of VRU is still underway, we can simply think of them as road users that might be vulnerable to road accidents caused by vehicles, e.g.: pedestrians, cyclists, pets etc. We would be able to prevent a significant amount of accidents by enabling efficient communication between the VRUs and vehicles, the possibilities are endless. A kid might suddenly run into the road chasing a ball. The driver most probably would not have enough time to prevent an accident due to the lack of prior notice.
But what if a smart device (a smartphone or a watch) on the child automatically sends a message to the vehicle well before he runs into the road?
The driver would be notified to use caution and the possible accident can be easily prevented. This is merely one simple example, accidents caused by pedestrians crossing roads where there are no traffic lights, pets running into the roads, elderly pedestrians taking more time to cross roads can be easily prevented with V2P communications.
This joint project of UTS and Intel, with the user of top notch research and technologies is focused to make our roads safe and free of accidents for all users.
This article was written by Hasini Poostchimohammadabadi who is currently completing a PhD at the School of Electrical and Data Engineering with a focus on UAV communication and collision avoidance in 5G Networks.