The Fence

Victoria, Telstra, and Lexus CAV trial nexus

The Victorian government announced a $3.5 million grant to run a two-year test of connected and automated vehicles, using Telstra’s Cellular V2X technology.

The trial is called Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria (ACV2), and will be run by VicRoads and the Transport Accident Commission. The test will begin on test tracks soon, moving on to public roads in 2019.

‘Victoria is leading the nation in connected and automated vehicles – this technology will be vital to making our roads safer for all Victorians,’ said Jaala Pulford, Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety.

It is the first test of Telstra’s C-V2X technology, a system built for connected vehicles. It uses short-range 5.9GHz radios for direct communication between vehicles, without having to join a broader cellular network. That said, when needed the system can make use of the ‘regular’ 4G cellular network to ensure that drivers receive safety messages. The system will be compatible with the upcoming 5G network.

In-car tech

The vehicles involved are two bespoke Lexus 450h SUVs. Standard in the car are automated lane-keeping, autonomous emergency braking and a forward collision warning system. The two cars in this test have a little extra tech added:

  • Emergency electronic brake light: alerts drivers to a co-operative vehicle that is braking hard some distance ahead
  • In-vehicle speed warning: information about active, static or variable speed limits
  • Right-turn assist: alerts drivers to pedestrians or bicycles crossing at an upcoming intersection
  • Red-light violator warning: alerts drivers that another co-operative vehicle is likely to run a red light across their path at the intersection ahead
  • Curve speed warning: advisory speed limit is displayed when a vehicle is approaching a curve in the road where speed needs to be reduced in adverse conditions
  • Slow / stopped vehicle: warns the driver when a vehicle ahead is stopped or travelling slower and there is a risk of rear-end collision

‘New technologies, like those being trialled, offer exciting opportunities to further improve road safety and increase our understanding of what Victoria needs to do to prepare for connected and automated vehicles.’ said Transport Accident Commission Director Road Safety, Samantha Cockfield.

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