Drivers of select vehicles in Virginia are going to be part of the initial deployment of next-generation “Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything” technology.
The technology (C-V2X) will be used on Northern Virginia roads with a focus on work-zone warnings and red-light signal phase transmissions, according to a news release last week from Qualcomm Technologies, which has partnered with Audi of America and the Virginia Department of Transportation to launch the program. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is developing the software and other system technology for the program.
Qualcomm is providing the transmitter chips used in Audi Q8 SUVs for traffic light information. The system will run on the 5.9 GHz spectrum, which the FCC has proposed for connected vehicle usage.
The project is expected to be launched in the latter half of the year.
Cathy McGhee, the director of Virginia’s Transportation Research and Innovation, touted the technology’s capabilities.
“The inclusion of shorter-range, direct communication in the 5.9 GHz band using C-V2X is exciting,” she said in the release, “as it can allow us to evaluate this emerging communication option for essential and practical safety and mobility services, including saving the lives of maintenance and construction personnel in work zones.”
Qualcomm said the aim of the technology is to “boost safety around school buses, warn motorists about dangerous road conditions, alleviate congestion at traffic chokepoints and curbsides … and even potentially let cars communicate with mobile devices to send warnings that may one day help prevent the more than 6,000 pedestrian fatalities per year.”
FERRY ROAD UPDATE
Crews are wrapping up the redesign work at the Ferry Road and State Route 3 intersection in Stafford County, six months ahead of the scheduled completion.
VDOT said drivers can expect single-lane closures this week for work at the intersection.
The intersection’s old design, plagued by numerous entry/exit points for businesses and neighborhoods as well as a railroad crossing, simply had seen better days.
The new layout has dual left-turn lanes from Ferry Road to eastbound Route 3; the right-turn from Route 3 to Ferry Road has been extended; and turn lanes have been added on Route 3 in each direction for traffic headed to George Washington’s boyhood home.
Work on the $5.1 million project started in March.