Ever since we began planning for the roll out of 5G in Australia, we’ve been talking about the potential impact it would have on the future of autonomous vehicles. Today we’re bringing a little bit of that future to our Cellular V2X project in partnership with VicRoads and Lexus.
Making our roads safer in Australia is more than just a goal – it’s a necessity. Victoria’s Towards Zero plan is designed to ensure that the state’s road toll is constantly pushed towards the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries. That’s why we’re proud to put our tech towards saving lives on the road working with Lexus on the Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria (or ACV2) project.
We have just demonstrated this technology to the public for the first time today, and on-road testing of these connected vehicles will now commence in Victoria – so keep an eye out!
By optimising our network, we’re able to create a system that goes beyond simply connecting vehicles to each other – instead also connecting them to existing road network infrastructure. We’re able to use the fast, low-latency cellular ‘vehicle-to-everything’ (or V2X) infrastructure we have built over 4G to make drivers more aware of potential risks and dangers on the road before they’re able to see it themselves.
In a connected test vehicle, for example, hard braking could send out an alert of this behaviour to alert nearby vehicles to the danger before existing in-vehicle sensors could detect the problem. Vehicles could also detect red light violations, which are received from vehicles that might be about to enter an active intersection against the light. Cameras mounted on the dashboard of test vehicles could also be connected, and configured to detect pedestrians in intersections, alerting drivers to give way.
We’ve brought a bit of 5G performance, low latency, into our 4G network for this trial. For the moment, our 4G network has wide area coverage, and so the first hundreds or thousands of cars that use this technology will certainly do that on 4G. What 5G brings is the ability to do this at scale, with many cars on the road all communicating at the same time. What’s great is that uptake of this technology will go hand in hand with the way we’re building 5G coverage, so by the time it’s needed, we’ll have the network built out.
Crucially, we are investing in this project to develop cellular V2X for connected vehicles well before automated vehicles are readily available – making driver safer, easier, more economic and more enjoyable.
This technology is proof that mobile and automotive connectivity developed here in Australia has the ability to help prevent accidents on our roads and to potentially save lives. The strength and speed of our mobile network means Telstra is well placed to support a future where this technology can become a reality.
Our purpose is connecting Australia and building a future where everyone can thrive – and we’re especially proud to work with VicRoads and Lexus in this spirit to make our roads safer.