Russia Ramps Up Connected Car Mobility by 2030

The transportation strategy 2030 issued by the Russian government last November is the second of the four pillars of the country’s decade-long plan in new mobility.

Other three are the electric mobility strategy, signed in the last August, and two more, still in a draft stage, are the future self-driving strategy and the hydrogen strategy. Russia’s transport sector faces serious challenges and the transportation strategy acknowledges this. Labor productivity is four to ten times lower than in “comparable countries” while road death rate and time lost in traffic congestion exceed normal rates many-fold. In tackling these and other issues, the government puts forward connected services for autonomous driving and multi-modal MaaS schemes. It is hoped some 60% of the population (80 million people) will live in areas managed by C-ITS by 2035.

The document suggests that V2X technologies will significantly improve convenience of the multi-modal MaaS system and raise consumer uptake by 15% reaching the average level seen in the European Union these days. Furthermore, road death rates are expected to decrease by three-fold by the decade’s end. “For the first time, the digital transformation package is ramped up as the most important means of achieving our goals,” said Russian minister of transport Vitaly Saveliev before signing the bill into law.

To national V2X developers, it is a long-waited road map. Now big investors, such as automakers and mobile networks, have a reason to jump on the connectivity bandwagon. For the first time, frameworks for public and private initiatives has been made publicly known. Deployment and maintenance of highway connected infrastructure and ITS is reserved for the federal government while cities are left for regional budgets. Because the latter are comparatively small in Russia, numerous opportunities arise for public-private cooperation, thinks Sergey Vikharev, director of emerging technologies at KPMG in the CIS. For example, ITS and road infrastructure in urban areas can be operated under concession contracts. “Expertise of the market players allows for creation of efficient solutions within almost any limit,” he said. “Numerous use cases show that even lower-cost solutions can provide high levels of consumer satisfaction.” Also, much space for free competition is seen in extended V2X services and vehicular on-board equipment.

“According to global analytical data and local research pilots, V2X services can eliminate 80% road accidents and 20% traffic congestions,” said Yaroslav Domaratsky, CTO at Sreda Software Solutions. “Also, V2X services can reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions owing to less acceleration cycles and stops at red light. EV range can be improved by the average 40% thanks to just one V2X service GLOSA (Green Light Optimization Speed Advisor), even if only a fraction of vehicles in overall traffic are connected.”

However, the community of national developers, many of whom have five-plus years of development and testing pilots, expected a more definite and ambitious plan in requirements on cyber-security, CAV safety and V2X deployment pattern. First of all, the regulators should make the choice between ITS-G5 or C-V2X in a timely manner, he said.

Another example is forced deployment of CAVs in economically justified applications such as intercity hub-to-hub freight which Domaratsky believes is a strong point. However, the strategy is vague in requirements on minimum implementation of connected services specifically aimed at AV safety and driving efficiency and also on cooperative perception control, harmonized with the ETSI’s international set of standards, he said: “These measures are necessary to achieve people’s confidence in safety and convenience of AVs to other road users, especially human drivers, to prevent possible issues with the public reaction on driverless transport.” In this, V2X can play an essential part provided that its full potential is used: “For instance, the intelligent infrastructure can, in a timely manner, identify failures of an autopilot and remotely park the vehicle in a safe place.”

Consideration of cyber-security issues is yet another threat to the authorities’ plan. “Possible cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure or instances of hackers taking control of a car engine or doorlocks or causing traffic accidents can influence consumer uptake,” Vikharev said. People’s distrust with the security of V2X can result in less connected vehicles and, in turn, under-achieved targets: “Nevertheless, as of today, a lack of news on actual cyber-security outbreaks can mean that such instances are rare and cause little harm.”

However, this kind of risk should not be neglected, thinks Tatiana Mikheeva, head of the research department of integrated transport development in the Scientific and Research Institute of Motor Transport (NIIAT), because consequences can be disastrous such as messing up a city’s whole road system. It can happen, say, through DDoS attacks on ITS. “Likeliness of such instances comes from the fact that many types of cyber-attacks don’t require high competence at the malefactors,” she warned.

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