Autotalks Deploys V2X Chipsets to Make Seoul Roads Safer

Article By : Anne-Françoise Pelé

The V2X system has been installed in approximately 2,000 buses operating in Sangam Digital Media City (DMC) and along Seoul's expressways.

Safety is an integral part of smart city development. Walking and cycling are encouraged while trying to reduce dangerous situations at crosswalks and in traffic. The digital transformation of Seoul, the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea, has been accelerated by the deployment of Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) systems across its bus fleet and urban infrastructure.

Image source: Autotalks

The V2X system, which is based on Autotalks’ V2X chipset, has been installed in approximately 2,000 buses operating in Sangam Digital Media City (DMC) and along Seoul City’s expressways.

V2X communication involves communication between Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I), and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P). In Seoul, V2X systems aim to intelligently alert bus drivers of pedestrian collision, school zones (i.e., areas in front of schools) and silver zones (i.e., a designated pedestrian safety zone for the elderly that adopts speed limit measures), as well as warn of road and weather conditions.

To understand how Autotalks’ V2X chipset works and contributes to improving safety in urban environments, EE Times Europe talked with Ram Shallom, VP business development and marketing in APAC at Autotalks.

Autotalks’ V2X chipset enables direct point-to-point communication between Seoul city buses and Road Side Unit (RSU) infrastructure, Shallom said. “This secure low-latency communication enables a variety of real-time smart services. To enable these services, a V2X system is deployed in both the vehicle (in this case, buses) and RSU side. In many cases, in addition to V2X communication, the RSU is integrating a variety of other sensors, like camera, radar, weather sensor, etc. These sensors are capable of detecting certain safety hazards/events that are then relayed using V2X communication to the approaching vehicles and may generate an alert.”

Pedestrian collision warnings

Vehicle and pedestrian collisions often result in fatality to the vulnerable road users. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1.3 million people die every year as a result of road traffic crashes, and more than half of all road traffic deaths are among vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. There are two main reasons for this: the lack of direct visibility and cognitive overload.

Autotalks’ Ram Shallom

When asked about pedestrian collision warnings, Shallom said that when the RSU intersection camera detects a pedestrian violating a red light, the V2X RSU can broadcast this event in real-time, to the buses approaching the intersection. The V2X units of the buses in vicinity will receive this message, process it, and if a collision risk is identified, generate a ‘Pedestrian Warning’ alert to the driver. Since V2X communication doesn’t require Line-of-Sight (LOS) conditions, even buses that do not have line-of-sight to the pedestrian, will be notified in advance and have enough time to react.

The Autotalks-based V2X units deployed in Seoul city buses are installed in the headliner of the buses (just below the roof) and connected to front and back antennas to provide 360-degree coverage for the V2X connectivity. Each V2X unit is also connected to a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) unit that is located to the right of the driver. The HMI unit displays visual notifications/alerts and plays a warning sound as needed.

School, silver zones

V2X technology improves the safety of school zones and silver zones by warning drivers to be careful along roads near primary schools and in areas with a high density of elderly residents.

Basically, Shallom indicated, V2X RSUs located near a school or a silver zone, broadcast via V2X, at relevant times (in the case of school zone, for example, during school day start/end times), a school/silver zone alert alongside appropriate speed guidance to the buses in vicinity.

Road and weather conditions

Adverse weather conditions can impact our normal driving. Our ability to see indeed becomes very limited in bad weather, such as rain, fog, ice, snow, and dust.

In this use-case, Shallom explained, weather and surface conditions (e.g., dry, damp, wet, snow, ice) are detected by non-intrusive road condition sensors installed along the road and connected to the V2X RSU. In case of risky conditions, like icy surface, an appropriate alert is broadcasted by the V2X RSU to the approaching buses.

Bus stops

Asked about other types of alerts, Shallom mentioned BIS (Bus Information System). In this case, buses broadcast their position using V2X to RSUs which notify passengers at the stations of the time of the next bus  the information is displayed on monitors at the bus stations.

“In fact, there are 15 V2X services deployed in South Korea as of today, and more than 10 additional services will be rolled out in the coming two years,” said Shallom.

Real-time and secure

Real-time systems are used for safety-critical applications, but they can be vulnerable to information leakage or misuse. How can we be sure that the information continuously collected and transmitted is safe and reliable?

Shallom said V2X is a direct communication technology that was designed primarily for safety use-cases. “As such, it was designed to meet the most rigorous requirements.”

Being a direct communication technology — unlike cellular communication, for example, which is not point-to-point, and goes through a base-station  V2X communication has minimal latency which makes it real time.

Shallom continued, “V2X communication is secure  every transmitted V2X message is signed, and for every received message, the signature is verified before the message is being processed in order to make sure that the message was received from a legitimate entity. There is also a security infrastructure and certificate revocation mechanism in place to ensure all V2X units in the network are capable of distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate messages at all times.” Pursuing the comparison with cellular communication, Shallom noted that privacy is assured by the V2X protocol.

A certain V2X communication range must be guaranteed at all conditions, in both highway and urban environment, in order to ensure safety alerts are received enough time in advance, he concluded.

This article was originally published on EE Times Europe.

Anne-Françoise Pelé is editor-in-chief of and EE Times Europe.


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