Adelaide-based leader in connected autonomous vehicle technology Cohda Wireless, supported by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure’s Future Mobility Lab Fund, demonstrated how smart connected vehicles can detect and respond to risky situations more effectively than a human could.
It was world-first self-driving vehicle demonstration conducted in the Adelaide CBD. In an area covering two city blocks on Flinders Street just east of Victoria Square, the demonstration replicated a scenario that is probably a daily occurrence on our roads:
Two vehicles approach a four-way intersection at right angles to each other. Car 2, driven by a human, fails to adhere to the red-light signal and approaches the intersection at speed, intending to ‘skip’ the red light.
Car 1, a connected autonomous vehicle, is approaching the intersection from another direction and intends to proceed through the intersection on the green light. In a real-life scenario, there would be a risk of a collision as human drivers will invariably approach the intersection when the light is green, fully confident that all other road users will obey the traffic signals.
In an instance where Car 2 disobeyed the traffic signal and Car 1 was unable to see the approaching danger, due to visibility being obstructed by buildings or other infrastructure, a collision would be especially likely.
In June this year, Cohda Wireless took ownership of two specially-modified vehicles from the USA which it is using in advanced trials of its world-leading V2X (Vehicle-To-Everything) technology. The two Lincoln MKZ sedans were fitted with an array of gadgets and devices to enable them to drive autonomously but most importantly, were fitted with Cohda Wireless’s world-leading software to enable them to communicate with each other, as well as transport infrastructure such as traffic lights.
Cohda Wireless demonstrated the efficacy and accuracy of its V2X-Locate system in a 2017 trial in New York City where it repeatedly demonstrated sub-metre accuracy while driving along Sixth Avenue, which has the tallest buildings in the Big Apple. Comparably tested GPS-based systems were as much as tens of metres off-course, at times showing cars driving through buildings.
Cohda’s V2X technology underpins and complements other technology used by autonomous vehicles such as cameras, sensors, radars and lidars by enabling cooperative perception.