In-Car Tech

Audi Q8s with C-V2X tech communicating with Virginia Dept. of Transportation signs, lights

Audi Q8s are utilizing new technology to help study how technology can make roads safer.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG
The future is multi-way communication. Not just human or computer, but multi-channel communication for businesses and transportation, among others. There are many players in the space, many working cooperatively to test and deploy these technologies.

Audi, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and Qualcomm are working with American Tower Corporation, Commsignia, and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to deploy cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) communication technology. It's the result of an effort between Audi, VDOT, and Qualcomm Technologies aimed at making Virginia's roadways safer and reducing the number of road hazards and fatalities.

Audi Q8 The Audi Q8 shows information from road hazards on the car's driver information screen.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

VTTI and V2X solutions provider Commsignia are using the 5.9 GHz wireless communications band that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed to allocate for C-V2X enhanced surface transportation safety to deploy the tech.

The collective has given several use cases for the technology. In work zones, the tech can offer greater awareness for drivers who can "receive messages through low-latency direct communications" while maintenance personnel who can also receive messages and warnings that a vehicle is approaching using a C-V2X-enabled vest.

In the case of traffic lights, VDOT's signal controllers are broadcasting signal status information through roadside infrastructure provided by Commsignia. That information supplements Audi's Traffic Light Information service, which is part of the MIB 3 infotainment system in the Audi Q8 testers.

"We expect neutral host models and shared roadside unit enhanced infrastructure to play a key role in the deployment of C-V2X in the Virginia Connected Corridors, a connected vehicle environment in Northern Virginia," said Ed Knapp, CTO, American Tower. "We are pleased to be working with industry-leading organizations to identify ways to accelerate C-V2X technology adoption and 5G edge infrastructure at scale. Widespread adoption will deliver on the vision of intelligent roadways and intersections for enhanced safety and connectivity while also improving the environment and overall quality of life."

"The deployment of C-V2X on the Virginia Smart Road Corridor allows a new generation of vehicles capable of communicating not just through cellular towers but also directly with roadside infrastructure and vulnerable road users," said Pom Malhotra, director, Connected Services, Audi of America. "Today's milestone will allow Audi to accelerate the deployment of innovative use cases that have the potential to increase driver confidence on the road by providing warning – and in the future, take autonomous action – when sensing an impending collision or even a traffic rule violation."

"We are proud of the work we've done with Audi of America, VDOT, American Tower Corporation, VTTI and Commsignia to not only showcase momentum and value of C-V2X to communities and stakeholders, but to also innovate on deployments such as these to continue opening paths to widespread adoption," said Jim Misener, senior director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "The Virginia deployment is a significant milestone, serving as a successful proof point showing public and private organizations working together to apply C-V2X to achieve transformative safety and mobility benefit."

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New performance SUV

Hyundai announces pricing for 2022 Kona N

The Kona N is price right at $35,425.

Hyundai

Hyundai is hard at work developing new electric vehicles, and has released some truly interesting electric concepts in recent months. However, the automaker’s efforts in the electric world haven’t stopped it from rolling out fun-to-drive and affordable performance vehicles under its N brand. Today, Hyundai announced pricing for the latest vehicle in the series. The Kona N will go on sale soon with a reasonable starting price of $35,425, which includes a $1,225 destination charge.

2022 Hyundai Kona N One well-equipped model will be available.Hyundai

The Kona N joins Hyundai’s high-performance stable that also includes the Veloster N and Elantra N, though the latter hasn’t yet hit the streets. The hot crossover gets the same output numbers from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as the Elantra N: 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque. The Veloster gets 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. That rowdy four-banger is paired with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission.

Hyundai’s full-on N cars get plenty of other go-fast bits to keep them planted in corners and stable at higher speeds. The Kona N gets an electronic limited-slip differential, an active sport exhaust system, electronically controlled suspension, and 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P-Zero performance tires.

2022 Hyundai Kona N Aggressive wheels and tires help keep the Kona N planted in corners.Hyundai

Hyundai generally knocks it out of the park with value, and the Kona N is no exception. Its modest price tag buys a generous helping of advanced driver aids in addition to its exciting specs. Standard features include forward collision warnings, lane keep assist, lane following assist, driver attention warnings, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and a safe exit warning system.

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The CX-50 features body cladding and rugged styling.

Mazda

Mazda's got a busy 2021 and 2022 as it gears up to release several new vehicles. The first is almost here, and today the automaker shared preliminary details. The CX-50 is an all-new SUV that shares a platform with the Mazda 3 and CX-30.

2023 Mazda CX-50 Production begins in January 2022. Mazda

At first, the CX-50 will be offered with Mazda's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines, one of which is turbocharged, but electrified powertrain options will join the lineup down the road, including a traditional hybrid. Both gas engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. A new drive mode select system is also standard that allows the driver to change the CX-50's behavior to match road and driving conditions such as towing and off-roading.

2023 Mazda CX-50 A new drive mode selection feature allows the driver to change vehicle behavior. Mazda

The new SUV's styling is a departure from the norm for Mazda, whose typical designs are sleek and elegant but far from rugged. That changes with the CX-50. Mazda installed beefy fender flares, body cladding, and a chunky front bumper that make the SUV look ready for the trail. New colors debut with the CX-50 as well, including Zircon Sand for the exterior and a terracotta upholstery option for the interior. The SUV will be the first Mazda to be offered with a panoramic sunroof.

2023 Mazda CX-50 New color schemes are available for both the interior and exterior. Mazda

We don't have full pricing or options details yet, but Mazda says that the CX-50 will be built at the facility in Huntsville, Alabama that it shares with Toyota. Production is scheduled for January 2022.

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