Traffic Control

Next-gen chipset tech from Autotalks, Applied Information delivers V2X traffic solutions

The City of Alpharetta is utilizing the chipset to improve response times by their fire department.

Photo by Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

The dawn of smart cities is upon us, using the internet of things (IoT) to solve big and little problems. In Georgia, Texas, and Hawaii, the world's first Dual-Mode /Dual-Active vehicle-to-everything (V2X) deployment is easing traffic woes that effect public safety vehicles.

The technology uses dual mode chipsets by Autotalks that are installed in roadside units, such as traffic control boxes. Autotalks has teamed up with Applied Information Inc., an Alpharetta, Georgia-based provider of intelligent transportation infrastructure solutions, to provide traffic signal preemption technology that helps emergency vehicles reach their destination safely and quickly.

Traditionally, emergency vehicles travel through traffic with their lights or siren, or a combination of both, activated when on the way to a call. When they near an intersection, drivers must navigate the traffic signals, pedestrians, vehicles, and any road hazards, often times while at speed, all while receiving evolving information about the situation they are approaching.

In 1914, American Traffic Signal Company installed the first traffic light that could be used by police and fire personnel to control the signals in the event of an emergency. Over the last century, the traffic signal preemption technology has evolved, offering acoustic, line of sight, localized radio signal, and Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

Generations of drivers grew up seeing Rad-O-Lites by the now-defunct Relco Emergency Light Company out of Erie, Pennsylvania, flashing white signals on the same line next to traffic lights alerting them to the presence of a nearby emergency vehicle that was responding to a call.

The Dual-Mode/Dual-Active Roadside Unit (RSU) that was developed allows emergency vehicles equipped with Autolinks/Applied Information V2X On Board Units to initiate traffic signal control measures. While the technology's main use case is in emergency vehicle's traffic signal preemption, it can also be used by transit buses for traffic signal priority and vehicles involved in roadside work zones.

The City of Alpharetta, Georgia was the first locality in the U.S. to deploy the company's technology. According to a spokesperson for the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety, the RSUs are featured on all traffic signals controlled by the city - approximately 150 units.

The decision to implement the IoT solution came as the previous generation of traffic preemption technology reached the end of its lifespan. A request for purchase order process was initiated and Temple Inc. won the contract. Temple installed the Glance Smart City Supervisory System for the town, which uses the technology developed by Autotalks and Applied Information Inc.

The system is installed on all fire service vehicles and lower in the town's Department of Public Safety hierarchy. The cost of the five-year contract was $300,000, all-in. The city is currently midway through its contract and the technology has been proven to “provide safer travel and shorter response time" for its first responders said Scott McCullers, Fire Operations Chief, City of Alpharetta Department of Public Safety.

At this time, the town has no plans to install the technology in police vehicles.

In Harris County, Texas, the chips are used in over 500 School Beacon Flasher Timers.

"The AI/Autotalks solution enables roadway operators to confidently deploy V2X technology today so the infrastructure is ready for the auto industry deployment, while providing 'Day One' benefits such as safer, faster emergency vehicle response times now," said Bryan Mulligan, President, Applied Information.

Autotalks' deployment-ready, second-generation V2X chipset is the world's first available solution which supports both DSRC based on 802.11p/ITS-G5 standards and C-V2X based on 3GPP release 14 and 15 specifications with embedded V2X cyber-security functionality. The chipset allows customers to easily toggle between DSRC and C-V2X communications.

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The Mach-E is the first EV to pass testing.

Ford

Seeing flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror can either be a very good or very bad thing, depending on what you're doing when they appear. You may be in for a surprise the next time you see them, though, as the Ford Mustang Mach-E just passed police testing and could end up in municipal fleets in the near future. Ford Pro provided the vehicle for testing by the Michigan State Police and it passed, making it the first all-electric vehicle to do so.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Vehicles are tested in several key areas.Ford

The Michigan State Police tests include acceleration, top speed, braking, and high-speed pursuit programs. Emergency response handling is also tested. To help law enforcement agencies make decisions about the vehicles that will best suit their needs, the Michigan State Police tests new model year police vehicles and publishes results for use by other agencies nationwide. It's one of two agencies that perform such tests.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Ford Pro provided the vehicles for testing by the Michigan State PoliceFord

The Ford Mustang Mach-E landed earlier this year and has been in high demand since. The Blue Oval initially offered the EV in a handful of trims and recently added a high-performance GT model to the lineup. All versions of the SUV feature sweeping lines and strong infotainment tech, and some offer extended range batteries with an all-wheel drive option. However, if you're hoping to get your hands on one, be prepared to wait. Current delivery times on Ford's website start at 20 weeks and extend to 28-plus weeks.

Ford Mustang Mach-E The Mach-E launched earlier this year and is in high demand.Ford

Ford Pro is launching soon and will offer a range of electrified and internal combustion vehicles to commercial customers of all types. The portfolio will eventually include the 2022 Ford E-Transit and 2022 F-150 Lightning, and likely the Mustang Mach-E, given its ability to pass the law enforcement tests.

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The F-Type P450 cars replace the P300 and P380 as part of the Jaguar lineup.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Two new versions of the Jaguar F-Type are on the horizon. New versions of the model have been created to further the car's luxury proposition and both are powered by a roaring V8 engine. The new P450 variants replace the P300 and P380 models currently in the lineup. Jaguar is keeping the F-Type R around.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450

The 2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 will be available as a coupe or convertible in P450 RWD or P450 R-DYNAMIC AWD grades. All varieties come with a 444-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood that achieves 428 pound-feet of torque. An electronic active differential is standard. In all configurations, the car gets from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 177 mph.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The car has received minor exterior updates from the 2021 model.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

In a nod to its suburban buyers, the F-Type has a Quiet Star mode that allows a more subtle roar out the back side of the car upon startup. Drivers who don't care about keeping quiet can switch the car in to Dynamic mode and let the rumble out.

Each F-Type P450 rides on 20-inch wheels, has larger brakes than traditional F-Type models, and has the switchable exhaust. Double J-Blade daytime running lights feature up front while new slender rear lights allow the body of the car to speak for itself.

Buyers who get the F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD get bespoke badging; a gloss black front splitter, side sills, valance, and venturi; auto-dimming, power- folding, heated door mirrors with memory; and 20-inch Style 6003, split-spoke, gloss Dark Grey with Contrast Diamond Turned Finish Wheels.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The interior sports a refined appearance.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Monogram stitch patterns on the car's seats and interior accents in Windsor Leather and satin-finish Noble Chrome enhance the interior. Additionally, there are "Jaguar Est.1935" markings on the center console finisher, glovebox release button surround, and seatbelt guides. Six-way electric power seats are standard on F-Type P450 RWD, while F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD adds 12-way electric memory front seats, electrically adjustable steering column with memory, Delta Aluminum Center Console, and R-Dynamic branded metal treadplates as standard equipment.

A 12.3-inch driver information display is standard.

F-Type P450 is available in 11 standard exterior colors, and can be ordered in over a dozen custom SVO paint finishes. It starts at $69,900 for the P450 RWD Coupe and $79,900 for the R450 R-Dynamic AWD Coupe.

2022 Jaguar F-Type R

The F-Type R is the pinnacle of the Jaguar lineup with torque on-demand all-wheel drive, Jaguar Intelligent Driveline Dynamics control technology, a double wishbone front and rear suspension, and electric power-assisted steering.

It can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph thanks to its 575-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. All-wheel drive is standard.

This model starts at $103,200.

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