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Connected Car Tech: Audi’s new technology aimed at saving cyclists from car crashes

Vehicles have become more connected in recent years, forcing automakers to use communication technologies to improve driver safety on the road. This often neglects other vulnerable road users sharing the road, such as cyclists and pedestrians. Audi has now announced that it wants to change crashes involving cyclists by using Cellular Vehicle to Everything technology.

What is Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) technology?

Technology Called C-V2X, it allows vehicles to send information between other nearby C-V2X equipped well as cell radio towers like any typical cell phone. The transmitted information may include road conditions, traffic sign information, location and more. Audi aims to take C-V2X testing a step further by partnering with Spoke, a company that goes beyond connected capabilities, cars and trucks, and effectively adapts technology to light mobility such as bicycles.

Display of Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) using nearby cyclist alert. Credits: Audi | Kindness

How does this technology benefit cyclists?

The C-V2X hardware on the bike can notify a vehicle when the bike is approaching, even if it is blocked by another vehicle and cannot be “seen” by the vehicle using lidar, radar, or vision-based detection methods.

If a bicycle is approaching, Audi’s test vehicles are programmed to issue various alerts to the driver to avoid a collision. For example, can provide a proximity alert to let the driver know there is a cyclist nearby, alerting if a cyclist is anticipated to enter the vehicle’s turn path from either side or from the front, rear and crosswalk. Another useful feature, especially in dense urban environments where cyclists share busy city streets, is the ability to alert if a bicycle approaches the vehicle while commingling from a parking lot.

Technology in testing

It’s worth mentioning again that this technology is only in testing phase via one of Audi’s e-tron Sportback test vehicles. Audi currently uses v2x communication with its Traffic Light Information service, while more advanced safety technology, including its method of protecting cyclists, is still being tested in the real world.

Deaths from crossing over cyclists and pedestrians

in 2020 NHTSA reported that 6,516 pedestrians and 938 cyclists were involved in fatal car crashes, up 3.9% and 9.2%, respectively, from 2019. As more people started returning to the office, these numbers increased even more. NHTSA accident data for 2021 reveal that a total of 7,342 pedestrians and 985 cyclists died that year.

Audi C-V2X
Cellular Vehicle for Everything (C-V2X) demo: 4-way intersection. Credits: Audi | Kindness

However, every automaker could benefit in some way from the C-V2X, at least once the technology has been improved. Widespread distribution will be needed for nanny-like technology to be effective on a large scale. Audi believes that more than 5.3 million devices will be ready to use C-V2X technologies by 2023, including vehicles, work zones, railway crossings, bicycles and other devices, but the burden of increasing that number falls on its shoulders. producers

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