Audi is trying to make getting to school even safer. They are developing new technology that will allow vehicles to automatically detect a stopped school bus. Distracted drivers who ignore stopped school busses remain one of the biggest safety concerns for school-bound children.
Audi and two partners — Applied Information and Temple, Inc. — are working with the State of Georgia on the project. They aim to bring cellular vehicle-to-everything technology to both school zones and buses.
The system is still in the early stages of testing. It will be conducted in two phases in Alpharetta, Georgia, home of the Infrastructure Automotive Technology Laboratory. The first phase will alert drivers when they are approaching a school zone. It can also be modified to only share that information based on when the school is open or when children are present.
The second phase will include specially outfitted school buses. They will broadcast messages to approaching vehicles. The message will include the bus’s location and a reminder that passing the bus is not allowed. Both tests will use specially outfitted Audi e-Tron vehicles. The project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021.
The Future of School Safety?
Audi’s technology uses cellular networks to create connections between vehicles and infrastructure. Future school signs would be converted to a roadside unit that would transmit data. Meanwhile the buses would have on-board units inside to share data with surrounding vehicles. The specially equipped e-Trons would connect to the local network and will display information transmitted by the signs and buses.
Audi already uses similar technology to locate traffic lights in cities like Las Vegas. After the test has been completed (and if enough school districts implement the new system) future vehicles could include the systems as standard safety equipment