V2x communication stands for vehicle-to-everything communication and is used to encompass the idea of two-way communication between vehicles and all other entities on roads. These include pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, and infrastructure, in addition to relevant services in the cloud.
Such two-way communication ensures that vehicles maintain a near-perfect situational awareness while on roads.
This means increased safety. If a driver is aware of a pedestrian who’s about to cross the road, despite the fact that the pedestrian is obstructed from the driver’s line of sight, it is far less likely for an accident to occur. And if two vehicles approaching an intersection are aware of each other, the probability of a collision is greatly reduced.
It also means improved efficiency. With smart intersections, which have been equipped with v2x devices, the flow of traffic can be optimized, for example by making appropriate changes to traffic lights based on the incoming flow of vehicles from each direction. This means that less time is wasted at the intersection.
V2x communication consists of many facets, including vehicle-to-network (V2N) communication, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication.
Other road users such as cyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians can equip v2x devices, paving the way for other forms of communication, such as vehicle to motorcycle communication.
Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
Vehicle to vehicle communication involves the two-way exchange of information between vehicles on the road. It is made possible by equipping the vehicles with v2x communication units. These can be built into the vehicle. However, they can also be added to vehicles after purchase.
Many modern vehicles come with sensors such as cameras that enable the maintenance of situational awareness on the vehicle’s immediate environment. However, such sensors are limited by distance and obstruction.
Vehicle to vehicle communication depends on an advanced wireless communication system that helps maintain awareness despite obstacles. This is crucial because as long as two vehicles are equipped with the right v2x devices, they’ll be aware of each other and highly unlikely to be involved in a collision.
At the moment, penetration of v2x devices among vehicles is low. As a result, the benefits of v2x communication are minimal.
However, the technology is gaining traction and more v2x devices are being deployed. In the future, when the majority of vehicles are equipped with relevant devices, the benefits will be more widely felt.
Vehicle to Motorcycle Communication
Vehicle to motorcycle communication refers to the two-way communication between vehicles and motorcycles through v2x technology. This enables the actualization of a connected motorcycle, one that is much safer to use.
A connected motorcycle is one that has a v2x communication device. This device enables the motorcycle to be sensed by all other road entities that are equipped with v2x communication technology.
Motorcycles are an important mode of communication in most locations. However, they are also prone to accidents and a higher rate of fatalities.
Like with pedestrians, most accidents involving motorcyclists usually occur because the driver wasn’t aware of the approaching motorcycle. With v2x communication, such accidents will be reduced, especially in busy areas like intersections and in areas with obstructions.
And with modern technology, vehicles can take automatic action to avoid accidents. This takes human inefficiencies such as panic and slow reaction time out of the equation. For example, a vehicle can break automatically upon analyzing the trajectory of an oncoming motorcycle and determining the likelihood of an accident.
Advantages of V2x Communication
Platooning is where vehicles traveling in the same direction form a line and travel behind each other, keeping their speed and the distance between them constant. This helps reduce the amount of fuel used by the vehicles in the platoon, with the exception of the leading vehicle.
Platooning can be especially useful for trucks traveling long distances.
One of the factors that increases the amount of fuel used by vehicles on the road is air resistance. To maintain speed, the vehicle usually has to produce enough force to overcome the air resistance.
In a platoon, with vehicles maintaining a certain distance between each other, the flow dynamics become favorable for the vehicles that are behind the lead vehicle.
With wireless v2x communication, it is easy to maintain a constant speed and constant distance between each other because the vehicles are in constant communication.
Safer Autonomous Driving
Modern vehicles are increasingly being equipped with features that make them semi-autonomous. These features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, adaptive front lights, intelligent park assist, and blind spot detection. Slowly but surely, we are approaching the age of driverless vehicles.
Autonomous vehicles will depend on sensors such as LiDaR and RGB cameras to maintain situational awareness. While such technologies are effective, they are limited, for example by obstructions.
Enter v2x communication and suddenly, autonomous vehicles can achieve almost-perfect situational awareness.