Stellantis is testing V2X (vehicle-to-anything, or, perhaps more accurately, everything-to-vehicle) communications technology in the United States.
These systems, first codified by IEEE in 2010, are designed to alert drivers and autonomous driving systems to emergency vehicles, pedestrians, traffic lights, roadway hazards, and other problems.
The issue with emergency vehicles started developing over a decade ago, when cars and trucks started getting enough sound insulation and powerful stereos to block out sirens entirely. Subsonic sirens are one solution, but they have limited effectiveness and residents tend to complain about them.
Stellantis is testing these systems using just two Jeep Wranglers, powered by the 4xe system. They expect Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), which can send warnings from intersections and pedestrian zones, to launch nationwide “within the next decade.” At intersections, a combination of permanent cameras and sensors can provide more data than any one vehicle can access, to “see” pedestrians or approaching cars.
The tests will include cellular 5G connections. Testing will be done at the University of Michigan’s Mcity Test Facility; further tests outside that facility are planned in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation. The NHTSA estimated that the system could eliminate 439,000 crashes per year (a 13% drop from current rates). GM was the first automaker to sell a V2X-equipped vehicle in the US, in 2017, while Toyota started selling V2X cars in their home market in 2016. Both designs use short-range radio rather than cellular signals; there is an ongoing dispute over which approach is better.