Soon, your car could have a smart display that alerts you in advance to tolls, road works and traffic jams, while switching traffic lights to go in your favour.
When approaching a car park, it can also display the number of parking lots available and the hourly charges.
More importantly, this new technology in your vehicle could help you, other motorists and driverless cars avoid traffic accidents and improve road safety for all.
With this goal in mind, NTU EEE and NXP Semiconductors N.V., the world-leading automotive semiconductor supplier in secure connected cars, have launched Singapore’s first Smart Mobility Consortium to focus on testing and developing smart mobility technologies.
The technologies will be tested on the NTU campus, which serves as a living test bed, bringing together 12 industry partners to form the NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Consortium.
To develop innovations in smart mobility, the consortium will harness an international wireless standard for vehicular use known as the vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technology.
This standard has also been adopted by the United States and Singapore for use in its transportation system and is an essential part of autonomous vehicle networks.
The 12 companies bring together their different expertise from the V2X innovation ecosystem, such as wireless communication design, data analytics and network security.
The industry partners include electronics giant Panasonic, American software multinational Red Hat, automotive system manufacturers Schaeffler and Denso, as well as ST Kinetics, the land systems and speciality vehicles arm of ST Engineering.
The backbone of the test bed at NTU is supported by NXP Semiconductors, whose secure communication systems can link cars, traffic lights and other infrastructure in a campus-wide network.
Professor Yoon Soon Fatt, Chair of NTU’s School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, said NTU has a proven track record when it comes to joint industry research partnerships and practical solutions over the years.
“Our NTU researchers have developed novel ideas and technological solutions that are in line with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and are highly relevant for the industry. This new consortium will be a platform to turn such innovations into actual products, which can then be adapted to other big cities facing similar smart mobility challenges like Singapore,” said Prof Yoon.
Dr Wang Hai, Senior Vice President, Global Technology Innovation at NXP Semiconductors said, “The launch of the NTU-NXP consortium is an important step in realising Singapore’s vision of a sustainable transport system that includes driverless vehicles. The consortium brings together industry players in V2X adoption to drive innovation within Singapore’s rich network of industry, academia and government support. V2X adoption requires collaboration and we look forward to building the consortium.”
Professor Guan Yong Liang, Director of NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Test Bed said, “With the full deployment of campus-wide V2X communication infrastructure in NTU, we are ready to work with our consortium partners and the mobility industry to develop, test and validate new innovations that could help enhance road users' safety and propel Singapore towards her smart-nation visions.”
The new consortium will enable more industry partners to test their smart solutions while enjoying the benefits of cost-sharing on the test bed, which is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board.
Some of the technologies developed in the test bed, such as the automated video analysis and environmental sensors have other potential beyond mobility and can also be deployed as solutions for Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.
Working with the consortium members, NTU and NXP will be launching projects to develop and trial new technologies and solutions for a suite of mobility applications that will enhance safety of both driven and driverless vehicles as well as personal mobility devices.
Singapore’s first smart mobility test bed at NTU
The NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Test Bed is built using the latest technology from NTU and NXP. It consists of 50 vehicles equipped with a smart on-board unit and 35 roadside units with video cameras mounted on street lamps throughout the university.
The test bed enables companies, research institutes and government agencies to deploy, test and validate V2X wireless applications that allow vehicles to interact seamlessly and safely with traffic infrastructure and vehicles around them.
Fully deployed since December 2016, the test bed is a campus-wide V2X network, which has an “always on” data centre capable of handling live video and V2X data collection. It also has a command centre that can monitor NTU’s traffic in real time and broadcast safety information.
This special network runs on the IEEE 802.11p and 1609 standard, an international “Wi-Fi like” standard suite developed specifically for vehicular use. The test bed’s ready infrastructure makes it easy for industry partners to plug in and test their technologies at NTU with access to staff and students as trial participants.
For example, NTU and Panasonic have demonstrated various smart traffic camera technologies, where vehicles and their speed can be detected automatically along roads at NTU. If successful, this smart surveillance technology can identify vehicles which flout traffic laws, warning nearby smart vehicles to be cautious while alerting authorities.