Harman, the manufacturer that’s renowned in the automotive industry for its in-car audio systems, has announced an advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) at CES 2020. Unveiled at the consumer show in Las Vegas, the now wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics is trying to introduce a new safety system which uses Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology to save lives.
Harman wants the driver of a vehicle (and the car itself) to communicate with pedestrians, whereby the technology would attempt to warn both parties of a potential conflict – in other words, an accident. The system, which the company labels as ‘Vehicle-to-Pedestrian’ (V2P) technology is said to be even more effective with faster connectivity.
It’s not the first time we’ve seen a company try to leverage the technology; Honda tried to implement it over seven years ago. The issue was: connectivity in 2013 wasn’t as fast, whereby 4G connectivity was only just starting to roll out.
In 2020, however, 4G is practically everywhere and now with 5G on the horizon, V2P technology is resurfacing. The faster network brings the promise of faster speeds and a more stable connection. It’s expected that in the coming years, operators around the globe will offer 5G as standard – similar to how 4G has evolved over the years. Here, Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) could play a pivotal role in maintaining the safety of pedestrians and motorists.
“With well over one million deaths reported every year, road fatalities are a global public safety imperative. Creating technologies that help prevent the injury of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists is absolutely paramount,” said Dr. Mike Peters, President, Harman Connected Car. “By introducing 5G technology to the car in a way that is both meaningful and practical, Vehicle to Pedestrian is an exciting innovation that will make our roads safer – and also has the potential to save lives.”
In practice, V2P technology will use a low-latency 5G network to send signals to and from a vehicle in order to identify objects in its path. This, in turn, will beam information to C-V2X-enabled devices (such as a 5G-enabled smartphone), whereby a pedestrian or cyclist will be warned of an oncoming vehicle. The technology might seem redundant at a crossing, as there’s sight of oncoming vehicles and pedestrians, but might prove to be useful in scenarios where visibility is limited – for example, around corners or in a car park.
Given most modern-day EVs have some sort of autonomous technology built-in, V2X technology or indeed V2P, could prove to be the making of these Level 4+ vehicles. Autonomous cars, pickup trucks, vans or HGVs need to be aware of their surroundings at all times; be it through Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) or Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) technology – these systems need a fast network (such as 5G) in order to cope with the huge amounts of data that’ll be transmitted on our future roads.