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Motorola has begun a proof-of-concept trial for its X24 machine-to-machine wireless module that includes mobile WiMAX connectivity. The product will be demoed this week at WiMAX World using real WiMAX infrastructure.

The 802.16e-based X24 module is designed with automotive telemetry in mind, said the company. The product allows low-cost, in-car broadband connectivity over WiMAX networks.

The Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VII) seeks the nationwide deployment of a communications infrastructure on roadways and all production vehicles in the United States. It’s in a partnership of automotive OEMs, state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The dedicated 5.9 GHz band is now being tested in a live California toll environment using technology from MARK IV. “A federal 5.9 GHz Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) standard is the best way to achieve nationwide electronic toll collection interoperability,” stated Martin Capper, president of MARK IV IVHS. “We are well on our way to showing that 5.9 GHz DSRC can deliver the same unparalleled 99.99 percent capture rates available with MARK IV’s 915 MHz E-ZPass products.”

MARK IV IVHS supplies the majority of electronic toll collection equipment in the northeastern United States, with more than 17 millions transponders on the road and more than 3,000 lanes equipped, using variantions of their “E-ZPass” system, the largest supplier of its kind in North America.

MARK IV’s OTTO on Board (pdf) uses a digital radio technology to pass information up to 1000 meters between fixed roadside infrastructure and a small DSRC device in the vehicle. The technology builds on popular Wi-Fi standards using IEEE 802.11p, a standard named Wireless Access in a Vehicular Environment (WAVE).

The 5.9 GHz DSRC band is a new communication standard proposed by the U.S. DOT to move information between vehicles and the roadway as well as directly among moving vehicles — for the Intelligent Transportation System. It’s a dedicated wireless network for vehicles.

Potential applications of the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium include:

  • Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V). When a vehicle breaks suddenly, it can transmit a notice to vehicles behind that enable those vehicles to warn drivers to stop, or automatically apply brakes if a crash is imminent.
  • Vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I). A vehicle in an accident could transmit incident data—time of incident, type of crash, severity— through a roadside infrastructure device to system operators who then broadcast regional warning and provide a broad alert to drivers to slow down. Simultaneously, incident data could be transmitted directly to emergency dispatchers for emergency response.
  • Vehicle-to-others (V2D). A car turning right may be able to send an alert to a bicyclist’s cell phone or device on the bike and avoid a potential collision.

DSRC roadside capabilities may be made operational at 150,000 to 250,000 locations throughout the U.S. in order to provide coverage sufficient to motivate motor vehicle manufacturers to produce DSRC-equipped vehicles.

To date, revenue sources have not been determined to fully offset the cost of deployment, operations and maintenance of the intended communications capabilities, or the anticipated applications.

The 15th World Congress on ITS and ITS America’s 2008 Annual Meeting is the largest event in the world for ITS leaders. It will be held in New York, November 16-20, 2008.

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