Weekly Brief: New test procedures and facilities for V2V and V2X on the way

In this week’s Brief: U.S. Department of Transportation, Danlaw, 7Layers, OCS,  Volvo, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, Boston, Waze, Google, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Truck Safety Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, Road Safe America, BCA Research, UK Department for Transport, Freescale, Embedded Microprocessor Benchmarking Consortium, Anagog, Park Now, Train Alarm, Sony and Milgam.


The U.S. Department of Transportation is defining a new testing and certification process for all vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies. The news comes in the midst of a flurry of well publicized car hackings that have revealed just how vulnerable networked cars are to safety breaches.

If harnessed properly, V2V and V2X technologies could usher in an era in which cars are continuously conversing with each other and their surroundings, thereby reducing traffic and car accidents while making cars, cities and entire systems smarter, safer and more efficient. But they also could make data more easily accessible and cars a dangerous target for hackers and other ill-intentioned people.

To avoid such a scenario, telematics firm Danlaw, engineering firm 7Layers, and industry consortium OCS are working with the USDOT to select test procedures and equipment to create a “gold standard certification program.” Once the test procedures are agreed upon, Danlaw, 7Layers and OCS will set up independent testing facilities. Timing remains a bit vague, although the DOT says that its new certification partners will have testing procedures in place in time to certify all participants in its forthcoming Connected Vehicle Pilots (CV Pilots), which were originally slated to start this year.

“Our goal is to create a competitive certification environment, consisting of independent test laboratories following a common set of policies and procedures that will ensure interoperability within the connected vehicle program,” says the OCS team.

In related news, Volvo, the Swedish Transport Administration and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration are piloting technologies that enable cars to share information about road conditions with other cars and the cloud. The three have tested two technologies to date: a slippery-road alert, which notifies drivers about icy patches, and a hazard-light alert, which tells drivers if another vehicle in the area has its hazard lights on.

The information gets shared via the cloud with nearby cars and with road administrators as a complement to existing measurement stations along the road. Test fleets in Gothenburg and Oslo are currently expanding from about 50 cars to 1000, and Volvo says the project is moving rapidly towards its goal of making the technology available to customers within a few years’ time.

The mayor of Boston, Martin Walsh, announced a new data-sharing partnership with Waze, the traffic app owned by Google, to improve traffic flow in Boston. The city will be able to share information on expected road closures with the 400,000 users of Waze in Greater Boston, helping them find the best way to get around town, while aggregated information on traffic reported by Waze users will be shared with the city's Traffic Management Center (TMC). Walsh says this will help city engineers adjust their 550 signalized intersections to optimize traffic flow.

On the fleet front, four safety advocate groups filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requesting that the agency initiate rulemaking to require forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems on all new large trucks and buses. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Truck Safety Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, and Road Safe America question why, if NHTSA’s own data suggests that the systems could prevent more than 2,500 crashes per year if they were required on trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more, the agency is yet to act. NHTSA is yet to issue a statement in response.

Sticking with safety, global micro research firm BCA Research found that texting on hand-held devices has become ubiquitous on British roads. The research, carried out in September 2014, found that 95% of respondents had seen other motorists using hand-held phones while driving, 83% had seen other drivers texting and emailing behind the wheel and 52% admitted to looking at their Sat Nav rather than the road at a junction or roundabout. Who cares? The UK Department for Transport, for one, who recently announced that the number of deaths and serious injuries on Britain’s road rose by 4% to nearly 25,000 in 2014.

Responding to the recent spate of automotive cyber hackings, semiconductor company Freescale announced a partnership with the Embedded Microprocessor Benchmarking Consortium to identify critical embedded security gaps in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. The two aim to establish standards and drive industry metrics for Internet of Things (IoT) security assurance. Freescale will also build a new security lab at its headquarters to focus on enhancement of IoT security technologies spanning from the cloud to the end-node.

Finally, Israeli parking startup Anagog, which crowd-sources real-time parking information, announced that a who’s who of parking apps have integrated Anagog’s CrowdPark technology into the core of their mobile services. Park Now, Train Alarm and GPS Maps for Sony's Smartwatch2 have all harnessed Anagog’s software development kit. The company also just launched a partnership with parking payment provider Milgam. Given the crowd-sourcing similarities to fellow Israel-based Waze, don’t be surprised if Anagog becomes a household name in the next few years — and lands in the heart of Google Maps shortly thereafter.


The Weekly Brief is a round-up of the week’s top telematics news, combining TU analysis with information from industry press releases.

Andrew Tolve is a regular TU contributor.

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