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Audi, Navistar partner to demo C-V2X in emergency vehicles and school buses for enhanced safety

Audi and Navistar have partnered to develop further and demonstrate potential safety-enhancing C-V2X technology in Navistar emergency vehicles and school buses. The partnership allows for both companies to develop use cases and safety enhancing demonstrations in close collaboration as members of the Volkswagen Group. First deployments are expected to begin this summer.

Audi and Navistar, working with Applied Information and Traffic Control Corporation, have partnered to research how to improve safety and driver information in school zones, school bus stops and emergency vehicle situations. Applied Information is the leading provider of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), including connected vehicle technology, for the US traffic control infrastructure. Traffic Control Corporation is one of the largest ITS solution providers for roadway operators in the US.

School buses. Connected vehicle technology has the potential to prevent some of the roughly 25,000 school zone injuries and 100 fatalities reported annually. A NHSTA study of ambulance crashes over a 20-year period estimates that 1,500 injuries and 29 fatalities are attributed to ambulance crashes on average per year.

While Audi and Applied Information have already demonstrated the potential uses of school zone technologies, the partnership, in close collaboration with Navistar, will allow IC Bus school bus drivers to receive a visual and audible warning signal of a vehicle approaching a school bus stop in a situation that the vehicle may not be able to stop.

The warning is designed to enable the school bus driver to intervene and advise the passengers exiting the bus to not enter the roadway or get on or off the bus only when it is safe to do so.

Studies show that stop-arm violations—i.e., when a car drives past a stopped school bus illegally—continue to be one of the most significant dangers to children and other vulnerable road users around school buses with an estimated 17 million stop-arm violations reported in the US in 2019.

In one Sacramento school district, more than 300 vehicles drove past school bus stops while in the process of loading or unloading children. The additional warning provided via C-V2X technology would warn bus drivers and allow them potentially to avert every parent’s worst nightmare.

The driver in the approaching car would also receive a warning signaling that a school bus is stopped ahead. These benefits demonstrate the strength of C-V2X communications and foreshadow the level of connectivity required for automated driving in the future.


Audi C-V2X Bus Stop Warning in virtual cockpit

Emergency vehicles. Each year, 100 firefighters die and another 100,000 are injured in approximately 30,000 crashes. In order to help improve safety for emergency vehicle operators and drivers as a whole, Audi and International Truck, a subsidiary of Navistar, as well as technology partners Applied Information and Commsignia, will demonstrate a new C-V2X application.

When an emergency vehicle is on call, Audi vehicles equipped with the new software can receive an audible and visual warning from the direction from which an ambulance or other emergency vehicle is approaching. When every second counts, this warning is expected to allow ambulances and other emergency vehicles to navigate their way to a patient in need or a hospital for treatment faster.

The directional warning is designed to help direct drivers to get out of the way sooner than in usual scenarios where the emergency vehicle is only visible when the emergency vehicle is in their direct line of sight.


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