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.

Trending News

 
 

The Ford Explorer Timberline joins the 2021 Explorer King Ranch as a new model for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Following in the footsteps of the Raptor and Tremor versions of Ford trucks, the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline debuts with a host of new equipment designed to make the popular SUV a more capable off-roader. Like what Subaru is doing with its Wilderness packaging, Ford will carry over the Timberland trimmings to multiple models.

"Ford is delivering on more capable SUVs with Timberline. Consumer data has shown us that now more than ever, customers want to get outside and explore nature with friends and family," said Kumar Galhotra, president, Americas & International Markets Group, Ford Motor Company. "Timberline hits a new sweet spot with these customers who want an ideal combination of passenger space, moderate off-road capability and great manners around town."

The Explorer Timberline has a new Forged Green Metallic exterior color. It has a blackout treatment on the headlights and taillamps, as well as the Ford oval. Timberline badges feature on the C-pillars and lift gate. Red Ember tow hoods are at the front and rated at 150 percent gross vehicle weight.

2021 Ford Explorer Timberline

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

1 / 13

LED fog lamps, a Carbonized Gray grille, and dealer-installed Ford Performance auxiliary lights with a 160,000-candelas output come on the vehicle.

The 2021 Explorer Timberline comes standard with four-wheel drive with torque vectoring technology that works to distribute the right amount of torque to each wheel. It also has a Torsen limited slip rear differential, which helps prevent wheel spin.

Ford's Terrain Management System is also standard, allowing drivers to select between seven drive modes depending on road conditions. The Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport have a similar system. Hill Descent Control is also standard.

Steel skid plates line the front and rear underbody of the vehicle protecting the engine and transmission. Ford has given the model a 0.8-inch ride height increase and heavy-duty shocks that were originally developed for the Explorer Police Interceptor. Steering calibration, stabilizer bars and springs are specially tuned for Timberline – including an exclusive front rebound spring that helps prevent sudden jarring off-road.

The new Explorer has an approach angle of 23.5 degrees and maximum departure angle of 23.7 degrees, plus minimum ground clearance of 8.7 inches.

The rig rides on high-sidewall Bridgestone Dueler P265/65R-18 all-terrain tires with a tread pattern designed to balance off-road traction and on-road quietness. The shoes are wrapped around high-gloss painted aluminum wheels that feature a laser-etched Timberline logo.

Explorer Timberline is powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that produces 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

For customers who need to tow RVs, ATVs and boats to their adventures, the standard Class III Trailer Tow Package brings 5,300 pounds of towing capability.

The interior sports a Deep Cypress color way that is matched with an Ebony headliner, overhead console, pillar trim, grab handles, visors, and moonroof shade. The instrument panel has a Stone Mesh appliqué while other colors feature elsewhere. Satin Silver Twilight is on the center stack, steering wheel bezel and door armrest trim; Deep Cypress on door trim panel inserts; Deep Tangerine stitching on the seats, steering wheel and door trim; and Timberline logos on the front seats.

Rubber floor liners are standard and ActiveX cloth seats inserts are designed to be cleaned easily and keep bottoms in place on rough terrain.

Standard Ford Co-Pilot360 and Co-Pilot360 Assist+ technology features that include Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Speed Sign Recognition, Lane Centering, Evasive Steering Assist and voice-activated touch screen navigation. A 360-degree camera also comes on the model.

Buyers can choose three Outfitters packages – Outfitters SkyBox, Outfitters MegaWarrior and Outfitters FrontLoader. All three packages combine all-weather floor mats, crossbars and the selected Yakima rooftop accessories for customers to take even more equipment with them on their next adventure.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is available to order now and arrives at Ford dealers this summer joining the Explorer King Ranch and new Platinum grades in the company's lineup.

Trending News

 
 

Subaru has teamed up with Sleepypod to create a series of pet accessories.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

Subaru loves pets. That's evident from the multiple pet-centric fundraisers and adoption events that the company hosts throughout the year as part of its core Love Promise, which focuses charitable efforts and company goals on a number of core areas including Subaru Loves the Earth, Subaru Loves Learning, and Subaru Loves Pets.

The company today announced the launch of a new line of pet accessories that are designed to keep pets comfortable in their vehicles. The 11-item line features unique items equipped for Subaru vehicles that ensure that owners can take their best friends and goodest boys and girls on road trips and remain protected.

Subaru Sleepypod cat holder Subaru and Sleepypod worked together on a number of the accessories.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

"Protecting pets is a key component of our Subaru Loves Pets commitment, and that includes protecting pets on the road," said Joe Daugherty, Director – Accessories, Subaru of America, Inc. "At Subaru, we know that pets are part of the family, and as our owners head out for warmer weather adventures with furry friends in tow, we want to keep them safe and comfortable for the ride."

The pet-friendly gear and accessories were designed using state-of-the-art technology. The roster of items for sale includes:

  • Pet-Friendly Padded Cargo Liner ($249.95)
  • Console Lid Protector ($49.95)
  • Collapsible Pet Kennel ($159.00- $179.99)
  • Pet-Friendly Padded Seat Protector ($229.95)
  • Pet Ramp ($299.95)
  • Sleepypod Pet Harness ($74.99- $94.99)
  • Sleepypod Pet Carrier and Mobile Pet Bed ($199.99)
  • Sleepypod Pet Travel Bowl ($29.99- $39.99)
  • Seat Cover - Rear ($199.00)
  • Rear Bumper Protector Mat ($69.95)
  • Pet Lover License Plate Frames ($34.95)
All prices are for the accessories as placed in the Subaru Forester. Cost may vary by vehicle.

"Sleepypod carriers and car harnesses are packed with proprietary technology that is the result of an intensive engineering effort by Sleepypod's design team to help keep pets safer when traveling in cars," said Michael Leung, Sleepypod co-founder and lead product designer. "The launch by Subaru of a new pet accessories line is a tremendous demonstration of their dedication to the well-being of pets."

The accessories are now available for purchase at Subaru Parts Online and at Subaru retailers nationwide.

Trending News