An ecosystem of 19 leading innovators in the automotive, bicycle and technology sectors have joined forces to work towards advancing and deploying connected transportation solutions to help reduce the risks facing cyclists and e-bike riders on North American roads.
The new Coalition for Cyclist Safety represents a commitment to develop a comprehensive approach to bicycle safety centred on deployments of vehicle to-everything technology.
In the last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has embarked on strategies to unlock the connected V2X ecosystem as a key technological solution to improve road safety for vulnerable road users.
Members of the Coalition believe that V2X has safety benefits, as well as the potential to reduce congestion.
The new Coalition is committed to deploying critical components of that roadmap to improve safety for cyclists, and enlist other supporters for this mission.
The Coalition participants intend to work together on integrating bicycles into the future V2X communication ecosystem.
By enabling V2X-equipped cars, bicycles and other road participants can recognize each other and create mutual awareness, thereby raising the possibility of lowering the number of injuries from crash situations.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, bicycles constitute 1% of all trips across the United States, but represent 2% of all traffic fatalities. More than 130,000 cyclists suffer injuries a year riding bicycles in U.S. traffic.
Many companies from the automotive and bicycle industries as well as the connectivity, chip and software sector have already responded to the call for action and have pledged to support the initiative.
The founding coalition members are:
Automotive – Audi, Cariad; Bicycle – Accell, AT-Zweirad, BMC, Bosch eBike Systems, Koninklijke Gazelle, Shimano, Trek Bicycle Corp.; V2X Technology – Autotalks, Commsignia, Qualcomm, Spoke Safety; Telecommunication – Deutsche Telekom, TELUS.
The Coalition’s Advisory Committee will include: ITS America, League of American Bicyclists, People for Bikes, and The Governors Highway Safety Association.
In addition to physical infrastructure to further enable safer cycling, timely safety alerts – powered by connected, V2X technologies – may help to reduce crashes by ensuring that bicycles “digitally” see cars and cars see bicycles.
Through internal research, as well as publicly available data, Audi estimates there will be 5.3 million vehicles, work zones, railway crossings, bicycles, and other devices that will be capable of connecting using C-V2X by 2025.
By 2030, it is possible that numbers will increase to 61 million connected devices, including as many as 20,000 crosswalks, 60,000 school zones, 216,000 school buses, and 45 million smartphones.
To make road traffic safer and more efficient for all participants, the Bosch Group is committed to expanding its engagement in V2X technologies through the Bosch eBike Systems division to also ensure the integration of bicycles into the V2X ecosystem.
Claus Fleischer, CEO of Robert Bosch GmbH’s Bosch eBike Systems division, said:“V2X is another important contribution to safer cycling, since it could give cyclists digital visibility for other road users.
“However, this cannot be achieved by one company alone – it requires the cooperation of various players working on the topic across the board so that in the future no road user is excluded from the benefits V2X can provide. We are happy to be one of the founders and to partner on this important initiative.”
To unlock the potential of the V2X ecosystem and to make streets safer for road users, the industry initiative follows a holistic approach and aims to integrate relevant stakeholders and decision-makers.
The companies in the initiative are committed to individually develop, implement, and deploy V2X solutions, components and applications.
By cooperating with regulators and infrastructure operators at varying governmental levels, the companies aim to ensure that the guidelines for V2X deployment are clear and that the relevant infrastructure requirements are met.
The industry initiative advocates for cyclists to be included in V2X developments and will therefore also work closely with other representatives of bicycle and eBike interest groups.
Bill Nesper, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, said: “We applaud these automotive and cycling industry leaders for coming together around innovative solutions to help make our streets safer for people who bike now and in the future.
“Advancing technology to connect road users is a key part of creating a Safe System, alongside building slower roads and safer infrastructure. We trust that the leadership shown by companies in the Coalition for Cyclist Safety will inspire others to join and commit to delivering a high standard for safety not just for people inside vehicles, but outside as well.”
The V2X Coalition will begin its work in the United States and Canada.
To start the topic and to gain early safety benefits, the initiative begins with solutions based on cellular V2X technology (C-V2X).
From the United States and Canada, the initiative will explore ways also to bring joint industry approaches to Europe and other regions of the world.