What are some applications of V2I?
Source: William Pao
Needless to say, V2X or vehicle-to-everything has become a popular concept that is expected to see increased deployment in the near term. Among the different V2X technologies, V2I or vehicle-to-infrastructure is pretty major and has various interesting applications.
The truth is, cars have been communicating with one another for a long time. When you turn on the right signal you are signaling to other drivers that you are about to turn right. When you honk your horn you’re warning other vehicles that you’re passing them by or you’re about to enter a dangerous situation with them.
Yet today, the internet of things (or connected cars, connected vehicles or the internet of vehicles – in the context of mobility) has taken car communications to a new level, whereby drivers gain different types of data, for example a traffic jam ahead, an emergency car approaching or an empty parking space, by way of sensors, radar, LIDAR and video surveillance that cars are, or will eventually be, equipped with.
This kind of communication between vehicles and their surroundings can be referred to as V2X which, in most cases, entails the interaction between an onboard unit (OBU) and different roadside units (RSUs). The OBU is often equipped with an intuitive user interface so as to pass information easily to the driver while driving. The communication is by way of either Wi-Fi or 5G
V2X is an umbrella term that has various subcategories under it, for example V2I, V2V (vehicle to vehicle), V2P (vehicle to pedestrians) and V2N (vehicle to network). Among them, V2I is a technology intended to improve road safety, reduce collisions and enhance the overall traffic condition by way of interaction between vehicles and the road infrastructure. Two interesting applications are summarized as follows.
Smart traffic lights
Increasingly, traffic signals
have become self-adaptive, meaning they adjust the length of red and green lights based on the present traffic conditions. This is possible with the V2I technology. “Standard traffic signals will change lights at specific intervals. The time between signal changes is often adjusted based on preprogrammed times of day (usually rush hour) or when cars pass over sensors in the pavement,” said a recent blogpost by Geotab
. "Smart traffic lights interact with their environment. Equipped with cameras and sensors, smart traffic lights can detect if a car is waiting and also how many cars are waiting in each lane. Using this information, they can calculate the amount of time it will take to clear up each side of the street. These signals can also respond intelligently to data received from connected vehicles and mobility apps so they could, for example, warn drivers that they are about to drive through a red light or sense when a pedestrian is arriving and activate the crosswalk.”
Another useful application of V2I is smart parking
, whereby the road infrastructure can interact with the vehicle to let the driver know about available parking as well as other information.
“Smart parking systems have already rolled out in the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Benefits include improving the parking experience for drivers, and streamlining payment and parking management,” the post said. “Some smart parking features include sharing real-time information on available parking, automated vehicle identification and payment, which has been shown to reduce idling, allowing parking enforcers to have a global view of meter payments and use data to make policy decisions about fare rates and timing intervals, and helping drivers find open spaces on public streets and reduce waste from vehicles circling or idling in search of a spot.”