Stellantis announced earlier this week it piloted a new connected car driver and pedestrian safety concept in Blacksburg, Virginia on a Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid.
The pilot was part of the 5G Automotive Association (5GAA)’s live trial of cellular-connected vehicle communication and multi-access edge computing (MEC) technology, according to Stellantis. The 5GAA connected car concept uses fixed, on-site cameras and sensors to collect detailed data that adds to what a vehicle can “see” using its onboard systems.
Test gear enabled the Wrangler to alert pedestrians and other vehicles of its position and to receive emergency notifications from the cellular network.
“Making roads safer for drivers and pedestrians is the ultimate goal of developing these next generation technologies,” said Ned Curic, Stellantis Chief Technology Officer, in a statement. “The Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid is the perfect vehicle for these live tests, equipped with vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies and driver safety alert. With 5GAA, we are working with industry leaders across the globe to help pave the way for autonomous technology to benefit our products and, ultimately, our customers.”
5GAA states on its website that the new concept allows “near-real-time notification” of roadway hazards through 5G and edge technologies.
“5G transmission speeds and so-called ‘Edge’ servers—locally installed, high-powered computers capable of running Artificial Intelligence programs—open the door to smart city technologies like near real-time traffic management and innumerable other business applications,” 5GAA states. “The connected car concept uses this high-speed and Edge computing technology to communicate with car sensors and pedestrian smartphones, via a user-authorized mobile app—about traffic hazards, like accidents and road construction—for Pedestrian and in-vehicle driver safety and efficient navigation.”
A similar test program is ongoing in Turin, Italy to evaluate 5G cellular technology and management of large volumes of data, including the sizing and configuration of computing capabilities inside the vehicle, Stellantis said in a statement.
“High-speed wireless communication is a key element in enabling increased levels of vehicle autonomy as well as future connected services and mobility technologies,” Stellantis said.
5GAA stated demonstrating that the connected car concept can work in a roaming scenario is the core objective of the live trial and represents the first of any such attempt in the United States.
Intel, Verizon, American Tower, CapGemini, Telus, Harman, Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, and the Virginia Department of Transportation also partnered with 5GAA in the Virginia program.
Featured image: 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid. (Photo provided by Stellantis)