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Audi and Navistar Collaborate on C-V2X Technology to Improve First Responder and School Bus Safety.

Audi and Navistar have collaborated to develop further and demonstrate potential safety-enhancing C-V2X technology in Navistar emergency vehicles and school buses. The partnership allows both companies to build use cases and safety-enhancing demonstrations in close collaboration as members of the Volkswagen Group. First deployments are expected to begin this summer.

Audi and Navistar, working with Applied Information and Traffic Control Corporation, have partnered to research how to improve safety and driver information in school zones, school bus stops and emergency vehicle situations. Connected vehicle technology has the potential to prevent some of the roughly 25,000 school zone injuries and 100 fatalities reported annually in the USA. A NHSTA study of ambulance crashes over a 20-year period estimates that 1,500 injuries and 29 fatalities are attributed to ambulance crashes per year.

The collaboration with Navistar, will allow IC Bus school bus drivers to receive a visual and audible warning signal of a vehicle approaching a school bus stop – in a situation that the vehicle may not be able to stop.

The warning is designed to enable the school bus driver to intervene and advise the passengers exiting the bus not to enter the roadway or get on or off the bus only when it is safe to do so.

Studies show that stop-arm violations, (when a car drives past a stopped school bus illegally) continue to be one of the most significant dangers to children and other vulnerable road users around school buses. There were an estimated 17 million stop-arm violations reported in the U.S. in 2019.

Over 300 vehicles drove past school bus stops while loading or unloading children in one Sacramento school district. The additional warning provided via C-V2X technology would warn bus drivers and allow them to avert every parent's worst nightmare potentially. In addition, the driver in the approaching car would also receive a warning signalling that a school bus is stationary ahead. These benefits demonstrate the strength of C-V2X communications and foreshadow the level of connectivity required for automated driving in the future.

Each year across the United States, 100 firefighters die, and another 100,000 are injured in approximately 30,000 crashes. To help improve safety for emergency vehicle operators and drivers as a whole, Audi and Navistar, will demonstrate a whole new C-V2X application. When an emergency vehicle is on call, Audi vehicles equipped with the new software can receive an audible and visual warning from the direction from which an ambulance or other emergency vehicle is approaching. When every second counts, this warning is expected to allow, ambulances and other emergency vehicles to navigate their way to a patient in need or a hospital for treatment faster. In addition, the directional warning is designed to help direct drivers get out of the way sooner than in usual scenarios where the emergency vehicle is only visible when it is in their direct line of sight.

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