Why Connected ITS is a Game-Changer for Traffic Safety

Each new year brings with it a list of upcoming technologies that promise to revolutionize a targeted industry.  The world of traffic management is no exception and the latest list of innovations that address intelligent transport systems include Connected ITS and Vehicle to Everything (V2X) technology.

Cars today are connected to navigation systems and smartphones designed to connect the driver to information. As the name suggests, the goal of V2X is to connect the car to everything, from road signs and traffic controllers to others  sharing the road. Connected cars collect practical information and communicate it to other cars and to intelligent transportation infrastructure that uses sensors installed on utility poles and gantries.

V2X includes Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I), Vehicle to Device (V2D), Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Network (V2N), and Vehicle to Pedestrian (V2P). This kind of broad-reaching network of communications can have an impressive impact on traffic operations by providing real-time insights for decisions that can save lives. 

How it works

In a V2X communication system, information is shared in real-time between lidar sensors, traffic controllers and other infrastructure such as parking meters, as well as sensors in vehicles, and pedestrians with smartphones. The sharing of this information will help improve road safety, reduce fuel consumption, and enhance the transportation experience for all road users including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Widespread implementation of V2X will have a major impact. The NHTSA estimates that cars that are connected to V2X could prevent up to 80% of multi-car crashes involving unimpaired drivers.  

Safer intersections

Statistics have shown that over 40% of all accidents occur at intersections and 25% of traffic-related deaths and 50% of injuries happen at intersections.  Imagine if all drivers could be alerted to dangers that were not in their line of sight? 

Thanks to V2X technologies, vehicles can receive informational alerts about:

  • Other road users
  • Approaching emergency vehicles
  • Impending light changes
  • Lane changes

With that information, drivers can adjust their speed and reduce the chance of collisions, injuries and fatalities.

By implementing Connected ITS, smart cities can target intersections that are known to be dangerous, and using solutions that include lidar, the investment would be relatively low to increase their level of safety. 

Better traffic efficiency

V2X is expected to improve traffic efficiency as well, by alerting drivers of slowdowns, road work, accidents, poor weather conditions, or traffic congestion, so that alternate routes can be taken. The real-time data is leveraged by smart cities alerting them to abnormal situations that are occurring and giving them opportunities to prevent before they stop the flow of traffic. 

What’s more, platforms that use artificial intelligence can begin to develop models from the data collected over time so that traffic can be predicted. These types of AI platforms can be managed by traffic operators and agencies to suggest improvements to road infrastructure at spots that are known to be dangerous.

Some smart cities have already begun using V2X technology to gather and share traffic data. Bluecity’s lidar and a collaboration with Commsignia allowed Bluecity lidar data to be fed to the Commsignia computer. The computer then broadcasted the valuable road data to vehicles on the road providing valuable traffic information to drivers. You can read more about Helsinki’s project here. Bluecity is committed to making streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists by offering municipalities and consulting firms a multimodal traffic data platform. Our solution combines lidar technology and artificial intelligence to capture real-time traffic data and provide ATSPM analytics to optimize intersections. We envision a world where traffic accidents are rare, driving to work is a pleasure and carbon emissions are reduced. To learn more about the Bluecity platform, visit our website

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