SELF-DRIVING CONNECTED VEHICLE DEMO SHOWS HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL MAKE OUR ROADS SAFER
A world-first self-driving vehicle demonstration conducted in the Adelaide CBD today has proven the potential for technology to make our streets much safer than they are. The demonstration, conducted by Adelaide-based global leader in connected autonomous vehicle technology Cohda Wireless, supported by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Future Mobility Lab Fund, revealed how smart connected vehicles can detect and respond to risky situations more effectively than a human could.
In an area covering two city blocks on Flinders Street just east of Victoria Square, the demonstration replicated a scenario that is probably a daily occurrence on our roads:
Two vehicles approach a four-way intersection at right angles to each other. Car 2, driven by a human, fails to adhere to the red-light signal and approaches the intersection at speed, intending to ‘skip’ the red light. Car 1, a connected autonomous vehicle, is approaching the intersection from another direction and intends to proceed through the intersection on the green light. In a real-life scenario, there would be a risk of a collision as human drivers will invariably approach the intersection when the light is green, fully confident that all other road users will obey the traffic signals. In an instance where Car 2 disobeyed the traffic signal and Car 1 was unable to see the approaching danger, due to visibility being obstructed by buildings or other infrastructure, a collision would be especially likely.
But as Cohda Wireless’s Chief Technical Officer Professor Paul Alexander explains, if the vehicles were connected using Cohda’s V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) technology, a potential collision situation would be detected and avoided well in advance of it actually happening.
“We demonstrated that when vehicles are connected to each other using our smart V2X technology, Car 1, the connected autonomous vehicle, would detect that Car 2 is approaching the red light at speed and is probably not going to stop. This allows the connected autonomous vehicle to pre-emptively identify and respond to the threat by slowing down and stopping.”
“Cohda’s V2X technology allows vehicles to ‘speak to each other’ to extend their perception horizon,” added Professor Alexander. “The technology provides the vehicle with an awareness of its environment and risk factors associated with it, consistently and accurately up to ten times per second, enabling it to make decisions that a human being would not be capable of making as the driver of the vehicle.”
In June this year, Cohda Wireless took ownership of two specially-modified vehicles from the USA which it is using in advanced trials of its world-leading V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) technology. The two Lincoln MKZ sedans were fitted with an array of gadgets and devices to enable them to drive autonomously but most importantly, were fitted with Cohda Wireless’s world-leading software to enable them to communicate with each other, as well as transport infrastructure such as traffic lights.
“Our goal today was not only to demonstrate the efficacy of our technology in enabling vehicles to communicate with each other but also to do so in a city environment where so-called ‘urban canyons’ significantly affect the ability of systems reliant on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) to achieve accurate positioning,” added Prof Alexander.
“Flinders Street in Adelaide is one such urban canyon where positioning through GNSS can be off by up to 40 metres, but with our V2X-Locate technology, positioning accuracy is improved to within a metre.”
Cohda Wireless demonstrated the efficacy and accuracy of its V2X-Locate system in a 2017 trial in New York City where it repeatedly demonstrated sub-metre accuracy while driving along Sixth Avenue, which has the tallest buildings in the Big Apple. Comparably tested GPS-based systems were as much as tens of metres off-course, at times showing cars driving through buildings.
Cohda’s V2X technology underpins and complements other technology used by autonomous vehicles such as cameras, sensors, radars and lidars by enabling cooperative perception.
“The role of technology in making our roads safer is probably not generally understood but we hope that this demonstration has helped to prove that with the appropriate technology and infrastructure, connected self-driving vehicles deployed on our streets are at less risk than vehicles controlled by human beings”, added Professor Alexander.
ABOUT COHDA WIRELESS
Cohda Wireless is a global leader in the development of Connected Autonomous Vehicle software with proven applications for Smart City, Mining and other environments. Cohda’s technology connects vehicles with infrastructure and pedestrians to make our streets, cities and working environments safer, smarter and greener. Cohda is headquartered in Australia and has offices in Europe, China and the USA.
Cohda Wireless’s innovative software solutions enable autonomous vehicles to connect with other vehicles and with Smart City infrastructure. These connections span Vehicle¬to¬Vehicle, Vehicle¬to¬Infrastructure, and Vehicle¬to-Pedestrian (collectively called V2X), and allow CAVs to ‘talk’ to each other, Smart Cities, and vulnerable road users in order to avoid accidents, reduce congestion and be more efficient. Cohda partners with Tier 1 Automotive Suppliers, ITS Equipment Vendors, and Mining Equipment Technology and Services (METS) vendors to provide complete hardware/software solutions to Car Makers, Smart Cities, and Mine Operators, respectively. Cohda’s products are used widely in locations including the USA, Europe, Australia, Japan, Africa, Middle East, China, Singapore, and Korea.
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