Audi has been one of the leading automakers in V2X technology, which essentially allows cars to “talk” to the infrastructure around them. The tech enables cars to better understand their surroundings, which improves their ability to either safely navigate themselves or assist the driver in doing so. In fact, Audi might be the leader in V2X tech, as it’s the only brand to have traffic light communication, which alerts the driver of when traffic lights will change. Now, though, Audi is working on a new system that will actually allow its cars to communicate with construction zones.
To do so, Audi will use a 5.9 GHz band, specifically commission by the FCC for automotive use, to communicate with construction zones near the road. Audis with this V2X system equipped will be alerted of upcoming construction zones then warned while driving through them, to keep road workers safe. The tech will initially roll-out in the Audi Q8 but expand soon after.
What’s fascinating about this technology is that it happens in real time. The actual infrastructure surrounding the V2X-equipped Audi is actually what communicates with the car, letting it know what’s going on around it. It can even alert the driver of a road worker’s physical presence in the area of the car.
This specific V2X tech will begin its roll-out in Virginia, the home of Audi USA. The German brand has partnered with the Virginia Department of Transportation as well as Qualcomm to get it done. The DOT is not only helping with regulations but also with software, helping Audi actually get this new technology implemented. Both Audi and the Virginia DOT estimate that this system could save up to 6,000 roadside pedestrian deaths per year.
Combine this new tech with Audi’s already impressive traffic-light tech and the four-ringed brand might just be the most advanced V2X automakers on the market. Let’s just hope it expands outside of Virgina.
[Source: CNET Roadshow]