There’s a lot of excitement about autonomous vehicles — and
rightly so! A world with self-driving cars is truly the stuff of sci-fi novels
and childhood dreams, coming to fruition right before our eyes. While a lot of
focus is on the marvels of autonomous vehicles, their ability to leverage connected
technologies will ensure increased safety and reliability

Ann Arbor is the largest operational, real-world connected
vehicle and connected infrastructure test environment. The Ann Arbor Connected
Vehicle Test Environment (AACTVE)

project, spearheaded by the University of Michigan
Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), has equipped more than 2,600
vehicles with safety and awareness devices. The installed infrastructure
includes 61 intersections, two curve speed warning sites, and four pedestrian
mid-block crosswalks.  [Video]

The Ann Arbor region has emerged as a hub of mobility
innovation, carrying on southeast Michigan’s automotive pioneering spirit. With
two testing grounds in the area — Mcity and the American Center for Mobility —
both global powerhouses and startup companies are locating here to pursue their
connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) innovations.

While the ubiquity of autonomous vehicles may yet be a thing
of the future, connected technologies are already being used to improve the
safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. Connected vehicles are those
that communicate wirelessly with each other and with infrastructure. Two major
benefits of this technology for the public are improved safety and reduced
congestion. Companies and organizations in Ann Arbor, along with the city
itself, are leading the way today while preparing for tomorrow.

Right-Turn Assist Live Demo with Derq and Kapsch

One of the greatest risks to a bicyclist is when a car makes
a right turn without checking to see if there is a rider in the bike lane, and
this risk is only compounded when other objects obstruct drivers’ view. Derq, whose North American headquarters is located
at the Ann Arbor SPARK Central Innovation Center, uses AI to power a real-time
predictive platform to eliminate these and other types of accidents, saving

recently partnered with
Kapsch to conduct a live demo in Vienna to show how its edge-based platform, coupled
with Kapsch’s V2X infrastructure, can help prevent crashes between cyclists and
connected vehicles. Derq analyzes live feeds from roadside sensors to predict
cyclist and vehicle intent. When there is a high risk of collision, Derq then
sends warning alerts from the infrastructure to nearby connected vehicles far
enough in advance that preventative action can be taken, making roadways safer
for all.[JCQ1] 

Derq and Kapsch’s live demonstration of right-turn assist
alerts to protect pedestrians and cyclists has never been done before, and the
partners are actively exploring opportunities to deploy their solution at scale
commercially. Derq’s U.S. patent for the concept, system design, and implementation
was approved in early 2019. [Video]

Improving Human Interaction with Connected Vehicles

are multiple companies that use connected technologies and AI to improve
pedestrian safety that are establishing a presence in Ann Arbor.

UK-based Humanising
is currently participating at TechLab at Mcity, an incubator
for early stage mobility companies in the connected and autonomous vehicle
industry. Humanising Autonomy developed a pedestrian intent prediction platform
intended to make autonomous vehicles safer and more efficient in urban
environments. Ann Arbor SPARK helped connect the company to the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority. Humanising Autonomy is collaborating
with Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority to test bus driver alerts in an
effort to help predict pedestrian, cyclists and vulnerable road user

A participant in the spring 2019 Ann Arbor SPARK
Entrepreneur Boot Camp and current tenant at Ann Arbor SPARK Central Innovation
Center, Intvo is also advancing the ways
connected vehicles can predict human behavior. Intvo is committed to growing
their company in Ann Arbor. According to Assam Alzookery, CEO and Founder of
Intvo, “Ann Arbor provides access
to recent graduates and seasoned professionals in the engineering and Artificial
 space that are crucial to our growth”.They
recently received a $60,000 PlanetM Mobility grant, to launch a pilot program
in Ann Arbor. Intvo software will enable early detection of distracted
behaviors and predict the intent of pedestrians for the vehicles equipped with dedicated
short-range communications (DSRC) that are part of the AACTVE project.

Finally, !Important
, established in Montreal opened an Ann Arbor office in 2019 located
at the SPARK Central Innovation Center. The startup is developing a free app
that would allow direct communication with the vehicle to communicate the location
of the pedestrian to help prevent collisions.

Implementing Safety Today and Tomorrow

As we move towards deploying autonomous vehicles in our
public domain— it’s critical that we deploy supporting connected technologies in
collaborative environments. Ann Arbor has emerged as just such a destination —
one that is committed to supporting the technologies that will ultimately advance
the safety, environmental friendliness, and accessibility of transportation.

The post Ann Arbor: A Destination for Connected Technology Development appeared first on Ann Arbor SPARK.

Source: SPARK