Telstra has teamed up with intelligent transport systems company, Cohda Wireless, in trialing Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology over Telstra’s 4G network in South Australia.
According to Telstra, the trial represents a "pivotal first step" in developing Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology, which includes vehicles talking to infrastructure (such as traffic lights), other vehicles and vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.
The V2I trial marks the first phase of Telstra’s plan to show how V2X technology can be supported via Telstra’s 4G network.
Telstra director of technology, Andrew Scott, said the use and development of V2X communications will enable the creation of intelligent transport systems for efficient use of road infrastructure, better traffic management, and, in the future, coordinated and safe autonomous vehicle operation.
Furthermore, it's also likely lead to increased safety for road users as the impact of human error can be minimised when communicate and react to their surroundings.
Scott said that Telstra’s 4G and future 5G networks can play a "vital role" in supporting the faster rollout of intelligent transport systems and V2X applications.
"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,” he said.
"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."
Cohda Wireless CEO, Paul Gray said there are a number of V2X use cases that can now be deployed using 4G, and Telstra’s 4G network is ideal for supporting them.
“We are very pleased to be working with Telstra towards the shared goal of making roads safer, greener, and less congested,” Gray said.
The South Australian minister for transport and infrastructure, Stephen Mullighan, said the South Australian government is positioning the state to become a key player in this emerging industry, and through accommodating driverless and autonomous technologies on its roads, is pursuing the safety, productivity and mobility benefits of these technologies, and new opportunities for businesses and the economy.
“Last year we hosted the first on-road trials of autonomous vehicles in the southern hemisphere and this year, we became the first Australian jurisdiction to legislate to allow further on-road trials," Mulligan said.
"Our government is striving to create an environment which nurtures companies developing autonomous technologies, including Telstra and Cohda Wireless, and this exciting initiative demonstrates the progress South Australia is making to take a share of this projected $90 billion industry."
Telstra and Cohda Wireless soon intend to trial Vehicle-to-Vehicle and Vehicle-to-Vulnerable (bicycles and pedestrians) technologies in South Australia within the coming months.
The Vehicle-to-Vulnerable testing will see the companies showcase an Australian-first sending of standardised intelligent transport systems messages over the 4G network to enable interaction of vehicles with smartphone-equipped bicycles.