T-Mobile US targets safer roads with C-V2X pilot

T-Mobile US has partnered with its home city of Bellevue, Washington to help it make road-related deaths a thing of the past.

They have agreed to pilot cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology, providing relevant, near real-time information to improve the safety of road users and pedestrians alike.

T-Mobile US will do most of the heavy lifting. It will supply 5G connectivity, C-V2X hardware, IoT solutions, technical integration and end-to-end testing. The C-V2X solutions and early prototypes were developed at T-Mobile’s 5G Hub, which is located in Bellevue itself.

It’s worth emphasising at this point that the vast majority of people do not travel on vehicles equipped with C-V2X connectivity.

ABI Research predicted last September that the number of vehicles on the road that are capable of short-range V2X communication will surpass 10 million worldwide by 2025. However, the number of cars driving around with cellular connectivity is expected to reach 346 million, so there may be an opportunity to retrofit them with after-market V2X solutions. Furthermore, smart city cellular connections are expected to exceed 165 million. Nonetheless, mass market penetration of C-V2X is still some way off.

To overcome this particular hurdle, Bellevue and T-Mobile are working on a smartphone app that will notify users of various pertinent pieces of info. These include audible and visual warnings about reduced speed zones, school zones, mid-block pedestrian crossings, and ‘signalised intersections’, which is a succinct term that describes crossroads where the flow of traffic is controlled by traffic lights.

“We are in a fortunate position that empowers us to help make cities safer, starting right within our own community,” said T-Mobile’s CTO John Saw, in a statement. “With our advanced network technology, valuable intellectual property and strong partner ecosystem, we have the extraordinary capacity to enhance the safety and well-being of our fellow citizens. And our vision extends beyond Bellevue as we aspire to positively impact our country and contribute to a safer world.”

Indeed, T-Mobile, has backed the US Department of Transportation National Roadway Safety Strategy Allies in Action campaign, which aims to foster collaboration between the public and private sectors in an effort to improve road safety.

T-Mobile last summer also became the official wireless partner of the American Automobile Association (AAA), offering customers a free year of membership that offers 24-hour roadside assistance including towing, flat tire service, and battery service.

As for the City of Bellevue, the partnership falls under its Vision Zero initiative. Approved in late 2020, it has set a target of eliminating road-related fatalities and serious injuries by 2030.

According to the City administration, 56 percent of fatal and serious injury traffic accidents occur on just 7 percent of Bellevue’s total street network. It has allocated a budget of nearly $3.5 million to address this so-called ‘high injury network’ by deploying various safety measures.

“Moving people safely from place to place using intelligent transportation systems is critical as we work toward achieving our ultimate goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on city streets,” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. “T-Mobile has been a valuable partner for the Bellevue community, helping us push the possibilities. We’re thrilled to roll out this C-V2X technology pilot and to continue making strides in safety for all users.”

Here’s a vid.


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