Automated driving will need smart roads
The existence of unusual roads proves that the focus on technology should not be only focused on the autonomous car itself, but also on upgrading the road infrastructure to make it smarter. State-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) to advance smart infrastructure will not only help driverless vehicles understand the roads better, but also improve overall road safety as autonomous vehicles (AVs) are not equipped to see around corners or other impediments.
As infrastructure renewal has a much slower pace than vehicle development, the majority of current road infrastructure has not been built with automated driving in mind. However, to reach a sufficient level of road safety with automated driving, C-ITS infrastructure will be essential. With the current road infrastructure, drivers are accustomed to the usage of traffic signals, but AVs need a different type of alert system then the one current road infrastructure uses such as radio and cellular network signals.
A wide range of companies are currently experimenting with smart roads in the US. Ford, for instance, started to explore the additional effects of smart infrastructures to AV technologies in Miami-Dade County.
Motional’s automated vehicle is currently being deployed in Las Vegas as part of a road infrastructure test as well. They partnered with Derq. The AV industry started to realise that smart roads are important in order to accelerate the deployment of AV. Transport systems need smart infrastructure in order to achieve maximum safety. With the incorporation of AI and video analytics, comfort and performance of both autonomous vehicles and in general the transportation ecosystem can be achieved.
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