C-V2X solutions provided by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., has tested roadside units (RSUs) from Applied Information, which were mounted in flashing speed limit signs near school zones. A 2021 Audi e-tron Sportback electric SUV and a propane-powered Blue Bird school bus were also equipped with Qualcomm Technologies’ and Commsignia’s C-V2X solutions. This initial deployment demonstrated that when active in school zones, the RSU is designed to send a direct, low-latency signal to the connected Audi, alerting the driver with a visual warning and audible signal to slow down. The technology can warn drivers when they’re entering an active school zone or approaching a school bus to reduce risks for children and vulnerable road users.
The initial deployment is taking place in Alpharetta, Georgia, an Atlanta suburb where Applied Information develops next-generation communications technology with connected infrastructure throughout its 78.5-square-mile testing zone, including more than 130 connected traffic signals. The partners tested C-V2X through both LTE and 5G networks with the Fulton County School System, one of Georgia’s largest school districts. The potential safety benefits of C-V2X technology became possible following a U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling reached in November 2020 and published in May 2021. In this decision, the FCC agreed to allocate a portion of the 5.9 GHz cellular band for C-V2X applications for the first time. The decision paved the way for automakers to deploy standardized messages for vehicles to speak to one another, including the above school zone and bus use cases. Moving forward, the partners see significant opportunities to deploy C-V2X systems nationwide so that vehicle manufacturers, companies that create roadside infrastructure, and local authorities can deliver increased road safety that particularly benefits school children.