Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and the paradigm V2X
Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and the paradigm V2X
The advent of the new millennium has brought with it a technological maturation that has given rise to a predominant trend in the automotive market: the “in-vehicle” connection.
The complexity of devices embedded in cars has transformed them from simple autonomous systems into “systems of systems” (SoS). This includes the integrated central unit, displays, processors and the operating system that supports the connectivity of the various devices, from sensors to connectivity modules and protocols for interconnecting the various components.
The automobile has become a complex, connected entity geared to its integration into the V2X (Vehicle to Everything) paradigm. This equipping of wireless communication systems allows the car to connect with other vehicles (Vehicle-to-Vehicle, V2V), with the road infrastructure (Vehicle-to-Infrastructure, V2I) and with the network (Vehicle-to-Network, V2N).
The current scenario is characterized by a persistent duality: on the one hand, we have the complex evolution of in-vehicle architectures, and on the other hand, the integration of connection technologies outside the vehicle. This is happening through the introduction of long- and short-range wireless networks, which are fundamental to the development of the V2X paradigm and all its applications. In this context, the role of the development of 5G communication protocols and 802.11P is crucial. The former aims to become a benchmark in the automotive world by introducing “quality of service” features that support the development of applications that are highly dependent on message latency time. The second, on the other hand, refers to the IEEE 802.11 family of protocols, which includes WiFi. In particular, 802.11P is a specialization for the vehicle environment of this well-known short-range technology, and thus introduces support for so-called Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS).
Intelligent Transport Systems help mitigate the shortfall of accurate and timely information, as well as overcoming insufficient cooperation between actors in the transport and infrastructure sector. This is done by providing sectoral coordination and ensuring proper data transmission. ITS affects virtually all mobility functions: from real-time traffic and weather data acquisition to access control and parking management; from variable message signs to integrated supervision and control centers; from systems for collective transport management to those for modal integration; from freight and passenger payment and sorting systems to platforms for logistics, parking and fleet management; from solutions for advanced vehicle control to platforms for transport safety and security; from satellite navigation systems to traffic light control systems to integrated speed detectors with CCTV cameras.
V2X communication is a key component of ITS, as it facilitates communication between vehicles on the road and enables vehicles to gather information about surrounding infrastructure facilities. The primary function of V2X communication systems is to improve road safety, save energy, and manage traffic efficiently. As a result, one of the main benefits of using ITS is the promotion of public safety. Other key benefits of adopting ITS include:
● Increasing Safety: The main reason for using ITS is to guarantee public safety on roads. In the past few years the trends of driving have changed, thereby increasing the number of road accidents. So, to avoid or get guidance before any accident has happened the ITS plays a vital role. ITS will guide the user using voice as well as giving alerts about traffic or congestion ahead, so that the user may act accordingly. With this the ratio of accidents will be decreased to some extent.
● Delivering environmental benefits: the major benefit of ITS is to deliver environment alerts if any are needed. The sensors are being placed along the road side so that they can record the temperature, humidity and other environmental factors. Calculating all the factors, the values will be sent to the central server where the values are stored in the database. If any user is subscribed to this activity he or she may get an alert about the environment. The forecast weather report will also be sent to the user.
● Capacity / Throughput: ITS also keeps a track of congestion even before it happens. Everything is done by obtaining the number of vehicles on each and every lane. If the number of vehicles is high on a single lane, then ITS takes the decision to route the traffic onto another lane or route. Thus, decreasing the risk of congestion of the particular lane/road. It also keeps tracks of the capacity of the vehicles running on the road at a particular time on any particular lane. It will also send an alert to users that at some particular time the congestion may well be high on some particular lanes/routes.
● Information Dissemination: There are many ways to deliver road congestion reports to users such as using Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), Variable Message Signs (VMS) and Highway Advisory Radio (HAR)
● Enhancing mobility and convenience: Intelligent transportation systems can be enhanced in satellite based vehicle navigation and various other applications which can deliver real time traffic information to the user. Users can check the status of traffic and other information about where they are heading before departing from their homes.
The vehicle, therefore, is no longer the sole focus of the mobility experience, but becomes a key element of an inter-connected ecosystem that includes smart road infrastructures, distributed sensors, public and private control centers, and uses modern technologies to create a connected mobility ecosystem.
The strong impact of the V2X paradigm in the current and future scenario is manifested in the technologies adopted that enable vehicles to collect large volumes of data produced by on-board systems and share it in real time through the network. This improves the “perception” of the surrounding environment and enhances driving safety, especially in view of autonomous driving. A moving vehicle generates data that can be exchanged punctually and synergistically with other users and infrastructure managers, or transmitted through the network to feed Big Data systems.
This process helps to gradually ensure the safety of the system – from a structural, digital, and routine maintenance point of view-by making traffic and transportation monitoring more efficient for safer mobility.