Verizon and Nissan North America’s Research and Advanced Engineering team have completed a research proof-of-concept demonstrating how sensor data from vehicles and surrounding infrastructure can be processed at the edge of Verizon’s wireless network and communicated back to vehicles for urgent driver notifications in near real-time. The test successfully applied that process — an example of cellular vehicle-to-everything communication (C-V2X) — to scenarios in which drivers may find it difficult to see vulnerable pedestrians or oncoming traffic emerging from behind visual obstructions. The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) will initiate validation of the technology for its Automated Driving Systems Grant Program, which would see the use case tested in controlled public environments in Contra Costa County toward potential live deployment upon validation.
“Communication between vehicles and the environment around them, or C-V2X, will be one of the most important transportation innovations of the connected and autonomous future of driving,” said TJ Fox, Senior Vice President of Industrial IoT and Automotive, Verizon Business. “This proof of concept shows that edge computing with Verizon’s cellular network can help take the resource-intensive compute burden off vehicles and public infrastructure — housing their software platforms and crunching their sensor data for them — and can communicate data outward to prompt potentially lifesaving safety alerts or autonomous driving features in the car, all essentially in real time.”
“Making breakthroughs in products and technologies is a core piece of Nissan’s business,” said Maarten Sierhuis, Ph.D., vice president, Nissan Technical Center North America. “The successful development and pilot of this research technology reinforces our commitment to helping keep drivers and passengers safe and the future of mobility.”
“CCTA is excited to be collaborating with Verizon and Nissan to test technology that addresses real transportation needs – delivering mobility choices to transportation-challenged and underserved communities – while preparing our county for the future of mobility,” said Timothy Haile, Executive Director for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. “Taking a proactive approach to safety is a priority for CCTA, and the technology we’re testing together will contribute toward making connected and automated vehicles a safe option for future travel.”
The trials focused on testing a variety of vehicle-based and infrastructure-based sensor configurations to create a multi-viewpoint picture of potential safety hazards beyond vehicle and driver line-of-sight. Using Verizon 5G Edge with AWS Wavelength, the sensor data from Nissan vehicles and infrastructure was processed at the edge of Verizon’s wireless network and communicated back via the cellular network to vehicles in near real time, prompting Nissan’s Intelligent Shared World platform to initiate driver notifications. This process helped notify drivers of detected pedestrians entering roadways from behind other cars or of oncoming vehicles obscured behind larger vehicles, as can occur during left turns with oncoming traffic. The trial was conducted by Nissan’s Silicon Valley-based Research and Advanced Engineering team.
The CCTA’s Automated Driving Systems (ADS) Grant Program aims to accelerate mobility programs for underserved communities. Upon Program validation of the Verizon and Nissan technology, it could then be deployed around busy intersections, retirement communities, or as part of the county’s Innovate 680 Program.