The company's commitment to safety continues.
Audi has a new technology called cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X), which can be used for a variety of different purposes. The German automaker recently showed off a new C-V2X feature that alerts drivers of incoming construction zones, keeping occupants and road workers safer. Audi has also shown that this technology can make your life easier by providing a countdown until a red light goes green.
This technology is so new, Audi is still finding new ways of implementing it. Working in collaboration with Applied Information and Temple Inc., Audi just announced plans to improve vehicle safety in school zones and around buses. These features are not currently available on new Audi vehicles, but the automaker is working with local agencies to implement them.
This new feature boasts two important applications. If you drive a brand-new 2021 Audi e-tron, the C-V2X technology will alert you when you enter an active school safety zone. It will also provide a warning if you are exceeding the speed limit when children are present. In a secondary application, the technology will warn when approaching a school bus that has stopped to pick up or drop off students.
Here's how the system works. School zones already feature roadside units (RSU) that use flashing lights to alert drivers to slow down. These RSUs will receive C-V2X technology so they can communicate with vehicles. As an added benefit, the C-V2X system can better track frequently-changing school times, such as half days and early dismissals for inclement weather. In a later deployment, school buses will be equipped with the technology to alert drivers when the stop arm is deployed.
"Improving safety in school zones and at bus stops is a top priority of our connected vehicle development program," said Bryan Mulligan, president of Applied Information and executive director of the iATL. "We are pleased to be working with Audi and Temple to help bring this advance in safety technology to the community."
Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from 2018 saw nearly 6,300 pedestrian fatalities in the United States, the highest rate since 1990. Additional data shows more than 100 children killed and approximately 25,000 injured each year walking to or from school. Audi hopes that its new technology can lower these fatality and injury rates.