Road test shows technical readiness of C-V2X technology

Road test shows technical readiness of C-V2X technology

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The test of a tunnel traffic warning system based on C-V2X in Portugal has been successfully completed. According to stakeholders, the results show that the ETSI ITS G5 short-range communication technology has reached a sufficient level of maturity to justify widespread deployment.

The trial was part of the C-Roads Portugal (PT) initiative, which includes five C-ITS Testbed Macro Pilot Cases in the Atlantic Corridor in Portugal and one Testbed of Pilot Cases and aims to accelerate the deployment of C-ITS services on a national scale. It involved transport infrastructure operator Globalvia, C-ITS technology developer and system integrator Allbesmart, and software developer Cohda Wireless.

The test was conducted in the 1620m Gardunha tunnel on the Portuguese A23 motorway between the towns of Castelo Branco and Fundão; the aim of the operation was to test the performance of V2X communications as an enabling technology for the provision of a tunnel incident warning service under real-world conditions. According to the consensus of traffic experts, accidents in road tunnels are more dangerous than in the open. In addition, hazardous substances are much more difficult to remove in such accidents. Furthermore, in accidents in tunnels, smoke can lead to poor visibility and the resulting lack of oxygen can occur quickly.

During implementation, a decentralised environmental notification service (DENM) was used to alert vehicles to hazards, risks and delays associated with access to tunnels. The Gardunha tunnel is equipped with twenty surveillance cameras, air quality sensors, and fire and carbon monoxide sensors, all connected to a traffic control centre in the village of Lardosa.

Cohda’s V2X technology, consisting of six roadside units (RSUs) and ten on-board units (OBUs), enabled data exchange between infrastructure and vehicles based on the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) ITS-G5 (IEEE 802.11p) protocol at the 5.9 GHz frequency.

Allbesmart CEO Jorge Ribeiro said the trial clearly proved that communication between RSUs and OBUs was successful and that the promising results of the pilot could significantly reduce the risks associated with large tunnel infrastructures on Portuguese roads and highways. “The trial has proven that we are able to provide accurate and timely alerts to motorists approaching the tunnel and even allow them to leave the road at the next junction if necessary,” Ribeiro explained.

The number of road casualties in Portugal is higher than the European average, and authorities are committed to the EU’s goal of reducing road deaths to zero by 2050. Paul Gray, CEO of Cohda, explained that Cohda will also be involved in the next phase of the trial by providing its own V2X Locate technology. The focus of interest will be the localisation accuracy of the process. “When GNSS connectivity is limited, such as in underground car parks or tunnels, accurate vehicle location is almost impossible, as demonstrated in the Gardunha Tunnel where location errors of up to three metres were found,” Gray explained. “Only V2X-Locate can achieve sub-metre accuracy and we will be supporting Allbesmart to achieve this.”

Earlier in 2019, Cohda had already successfully tested V2X-Locate in the 2.2km Bjørnegård tunnel in the municipality of Bærum, Norway.

Allbesmart plans to transition the pilot from C-ITS to a 3GPP V2X communications standard by piloting 3GPP 5G V2X in-vehicle connectivity using Cohda Wireless’ MK6 evaluation kit. C-Roads has been using ITS-G5 MK5 to date. An interface for V2V sidelink communication will also be tested. The next steps will be carried out as part of the P2020 5G-AUTO project.

More information on V2X-Locate here

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