Audi of America, Applied Information, and Temple announced a collaboration to develop two future connected vehicle applications that can help improve safety in school zones and around school buses when children are present.

The first application, using cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) technology, is designed to warn drivers when they are approaching an active school safety zone and exceeding the speed limit when children are present. The second application is designed to warn drivers when they are approaching a school bus stopped to pick up or drop off students. The project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.

When active, roadside units (RSU) installed in school zone safety beacons — flashing signs that are intended to slow drivers down as they pass by a school — will broadcast messages to vehicles indicating location of the school and the reduced speed limit. This initial deployment will also help alert drivers to the changes in speed limit as school times change due to circumstances, such as half school days and early dismissals for weather.

The applications will be developed at the Infrastructure Automotive Technology Laboratory (iATL) in Alpharetta, Georgia. The iATL was established to encourage automakers to test connected vehicle technology in a true streetscape setting featuring real-world interferences and obstructions. The iATL is licensed to operate fixed and mobile C-V2X (PC5) communications technology in a 75-square-mile area around the laboratory.

Alpharetta is also a prime location to test vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies, as it is home to 125 connected traffic signals — almost every signal in the city. Of those, 55 are capable of direct C-V2X communication between a vehicle and a signal using short-distance cellular communication. The signals help optimize green light timing and traffic flow as well as Traffic Light Information equipped in many Audi vehicles currently on sale.