AT&T, Ford and Delphi show 'vehicle-to-anything' wireless communications

Atlanta and Miami-Dade to test technology on city streets

AT&T on Wednesday debuted an advanced communications platform called vehicle-to-anything (V2X) in partnership with Ford and Delphi.

V2X technology is considered essential to smart city innovations and is designed to prevent collisions between autonomous buses, taxis and cars along busy streets and highways. A number of vendors are developing V2X technologies, including car makers such as Audi. Audi is also working with Qualcomm and other companies in a consortium called ConVeX to test V2X .

Typical V2X communications will use dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology to wirelessly transmit data, such as vehicle location, direction and speed, to nearby vehicles as well as to street infrastructure, such as traffic signals and lane sensors. AT&T said it will offer an enhancement to that approach by using its LTE long-range wireless network to extend the range of DSRC communications.

AT&T’s work with Delphi and Ford “will deliver safer, more secure, cost-effective and efficient” V2X technology, said Chris Penrose, AT&T’s president of Internet of Things Solutions, in a statement.

The platform is being showcased at the 2017 CES trade show this week in Las Vegas. In their partnership, Delphi built an on-vehicle V2X module, while AT&T built software for analytics and will provide wireless connectivity. Ford developed the in-car integration.

Mike Zeto, general manager of the AT&T Smart Cities unit, said in an interview that AT&T’s V2X platform will be “instrumental in helping cities manage traffic more efficiently and safely. Any mayor you talk to puts traffic and transportation in their top two or three smart city initiatives.”

V2X technology and the related vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology will be used in a smart city test in Atlanta along the North Avenue corridor, a distance of about three miles, Zeto said. The corridor will provide an autonomous vehicle lane that passes by Georgia Tech, a business district and residences.

Miami-Dade County will also test the use of the V2X platform to connect data from vehicles and monitoring cameras located at a few four-way intersections to provide traffic flow and timing information, he said.

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