Sensors and Connectivity series: What will advances in V2I technology mean for rail?

Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology is based on wireless communication, encompassing exchange of safety and operational data between vehicles and infrastructure. Systems consist of a vehicle On-Board Unit (OBU) which provides communications for vehicles, a Roadside Unit (RSU) which interfaces with vehicles within their range and a communications channel. Information is then transmitted to the automobile.


Ericsson is deploying a 5G test network along high-speed rail track between Nuremberg and Greding to support V2V, V2I and the digitalisation of the rail infrastructure. The safety benefits envisioned by V2I could be transferred to level crossings. Infrastructure elements at level crossings could send signals to trains to warn drivers of obstacles, allowing speeds to be altered if necessary.
Communication between trains and infrastructure could contribute to energy savings through optimising acceleration and braking, giving trains alerts when a station is being approached. Current systems such as AWS and TPWS can be further automated using V2I technology by responding to SPADs.

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