BY ADAM FROST ON APRIL 23, 2019
The USA’s leading trade body for the electrical equipment industry is aiming to develop national standards for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications devices in order to accelerate the widespread deployment of traffic control systems that safely connect with road users.
Representing nearly 325 electrical equipment and imaging manufacturers from across the country, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has announced the formation of the Connected Vehicle Infrastructure Technical (CVIT) Committee that will help to develop a harmonized technical specification for roadside connected vehicle (CV) devices.
The V2I Standards, to be completed by the end of 2019, are for traffic signals, school zone beacons, pedestrian crossings and other electronic devices that control the movement of vehicles and pedestrians on the country’s roadways. The ability to transmit safety messages, alerts and warnings from the infrastructure to vehicles and vice versa is a critical function of the CV technology that is expected to have a major impact on the reduction of casualties across the USA’s road network.
The need for Standards and formation of the CVIT Committee is the result of an industry workshop on connected vehicle infrastructure hosted by NEMA. The workshop was attended by thought leaders from the semiconductor industry, intelligent transportation system (ITS) technology providers, traffic technology manufacturers, and infrastructure contractors and installers.
The workshop demonstrated a need for developing a harmonized technical specification for roadside CV devices or roadside units (RSUs) that includes practical agency customer needs, including maintainability, connectivity, communications interoperability, over-the-air software updates, and the ability to address future advances in communications technology.
“This working group will create the Standards that will give state and local agencies that operate and maintain roadways the confidence to deploy connected vehicle infrastructure to cover the nation and advance this critical safety feature,” explained Bryan Mulligan, NEMA’s transportation management systems and associated control devices section chairman, who is also the president of ITS equipment developer, Applied Information, Inc. “To be successful, the connected vehicle infrastructure must be interoperable, future proof, reliable, and maintainable by local agencies.”
Steve Griffith, NEMA’s transportation industry director, added, “A key component of the connected vehicle ecosystem is the ability for vehicles and the infrastructure to communicate with each other regardless of the type of device or underlying technology. This Standard will provide a mechanism to ensure this critical function is carried out across the industry.”