Telstra and Lexus Australia are testing new communication technology which allows cars to “talk to each other” over cellualr networks to improve road safety.  

This cellular technology is an Australian-first and has been awarded $3.5 million in grant funding under the Victorian Government’s Towards Zero program to trial a deployment of advanced communications technology in Victoria.

The project is called Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria, or ACV2.

Håkan Eriksson, Chief Technology Officer at Telstra said the two companies will trial connected vehicle safety systems including emergency braking alerts, in-vehicle speed limit compliance warnings, right-turn assist for vulnerable road users and warnings when surrounding vehicles are likely to violate a red light.

He said, “The trial will deploy two Lexus vehicles equipped with Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.

“For instance, if a trial vehicle ahead performs an emergency brake, it will send this message to a V2X-equipped car following — potentially before a forward collision radar or driver notices the event. In these situations, mere milliseconds can make a huge difference.

“We’ll also be investigating other applications, such as how to securely send speed zone, traffic light timing, and other signals to cars so all this information can be available just-in-time and help prevent road trauma.”

​Juniper Research predicts V2V technology could prevent over 9,300 deaths per annum in the US, as the technology is rolled out more widely in the coming decade. 

Eriksson explained the cellular V2X technology lets cars “talk to each other” via 4G mobile networks and direct short-range wireless links.

He said, “This trial will be the first in Australia to make use of the very latest short-range 5.9 GHz radios based on advanced 4G Cellular V2X technology — with a pathway and compatibility to future 5G solutions too.”

If there is no 4G coverage, Eriksson said, “The strength of Cellular V2X technology is that it combines both short range radios and wide-area 4G-based mobile communications when available. So, even in the case that there’s no mobile coverage, the most urgent safety messages will still get through and help to save lives.”

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