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The Technology: self-driving cars and smart infrastructure converse

PlanetM utilizes Michigan’s talent and resources to further research on how autonomous and self-driving vehicles, vehicle to vehicle (V2V) systems, and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) operations work. These partnerships and efforts will lead to improved safety and mobility using applications that operate with crash avoidance technologies and ultimately help save lives.

Autonomous cars and connected vehicle (CV) technology illustrated

Connected vehicle technologies enable all types of vehicles, roadways, infrastructure, and mobile devices to communicate and share vital transportation information. This communication between cars and the environment they drive in will accelerate the development of autonomous vehicle technology.

The primary communications technology used to support connected vehicle applications is dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), which is similar to Wi-Fi. DSRC provides fast, secure, and reliable communications, and is not vulnerable to interference which is necessary for connected vehicle applications.

To see how connected vehicle technology works, click on the numbers in the illustration below.

Intersection Illustration Roadside Unit(RSU) Onboard Equipment(OBU) Nomadic Device Traffic Signal Controller Backhaul Communications Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) Communications Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) Communications


Roadside Unit (RSU)

Devices that send messages to, and receives messages from, nearby vehicles. The RSU operates from a fixed position or a portable device, and includes a processor, data storage and communications capabilities on a secure channel with other equipped vehicles RSUs use Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC).



Onboard Equipment (OBU)

Devices located in the vehicle either as standard equipment or as an after-market device. OBU's process, store, and provide communications functions necessary to support connected vehicle operations. Using Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) or other alternative wireless technologies. OBU's interface with the standard equipment or aftermarket safety devices to communicate information to the driver.



Nomadic Device

Whether it be a pedestrian, bicyclist, or wheelchair user the nomadic device is located on the traveler and provides information to the vehicle drivers.



Traffic Signals

Allows the traffic signal to communicate between motorized and non-motorized users utilizing data streams to maximize safety and traffic flow through the intersection.



Backhaul Communications

A secure communications network between the highway agency and roadside unit to disseminate accurate and useful information to the driver



Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) Communications

The wireless exchange of data among vehicles in close proximity



Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) Communications

Wireless exchange of critical safety and operational data between vehicles and the roads they use