Singapore launches Smart Mobility Consortium to develop V2X technology

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore and NXP Semiconductors have launched Singapore’s first Smart Mobility Consortium to focus on testing and developing smart mobility technologies.

The NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Consortium brings together 12 companies with different expertise such as wireless communication design, data analytics and network security, and includes Panasonic, Red Hat, Singapore Technologies Kinetics, Hong Kong government’s ASTRI, and automotive system manufacturers Schaeffer and Denso.

Working with the consortium members, NTU and NXP will be launching projects to develop and trial new technologies and solutions for a suite of mobility applications that will enhance safety of both driven and driverless vehicles, as well as personal mobility devices.

“Our NTU researchers have developed novel ideas and technological solutions that are in line with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision and are highly relevant for the industry. This new consortium will be a platform to turn such innovations into actual products, which can then be adapted to other big cities facing similar smart mobility challenges like Singapore,” said Prof Yoon Soon Fatt, Chair of NTU’s School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering,

“Singapore represents a very typical modern city - well-controlled but also with the chaos of crowded cities… We are hoping that whatever we learn will be applicable to the world, to reduce fuel consumption, increase efficiency, save costs, and also to save lives,” said Dr Wang Hai, Senior VP Global Technology Innovation at NXP Semiconductors.


V2X Wi-Fi for vehicles

To develop innovations in smart mobility, the consortium will harness an international wireless standard for vehicles known as the Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication technology.

V2X technology enables cars to communicate with each other and with roadside infrastructure such as traffic lights, traffic cameras and lamp posts, forming an ad-hoc vehicular network. This will provide the backbone for safer and more efficient autonomous vehicle networks.

“It is a variation of Wi-Fi that is very suitable and resilient to fast moving vehicles. It is a Wi-Fi for vehicles,” explained Prof Guan Yong Liang, Lead Principal Investigator of the Smart Mobility Consortium.


Singapore’s first smart mobility test bed 

Covering all 200 hectares of the NTU campus, the four-year S$22 million NTU-NXP Smart Mobility Test Bed was launched to advance the testing and development of V2X technology. Companies, research institutes and government agencies will be able to deploy, test, and validate future mobility solutions in a real world scenario within the NTU campus. Cars, traffic lights and other infrastructure are linked in a campus-wide V2X network.

The test bed consists of:

  • 50 vehicles equipped with a smart on-board unit to communicate with each other
  • 35 roadside units mounted on street lamps to gather data from cars
  • 82 traffic cameras
  • A 24/7 data centre to collect live video and data
  • A smart mobility lab which gives a real-time picture of traffic conditions

The test-bed’s network runs on the IEEE 802.11p and 1609 standard, an international “Wi-Fi like” standard suite developed specifically for vehicular use. The test bed’s ready infrastructure makes it easy for industry partners to plug in and test their technologies at NTU with access to staff and students as trial participants.

The consortium is inviting more industry platers to play a part in creating new transportation solutions, while enjoying the benefits of cost-sharing on the test bed, which is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board.

Some of the technologies developed in the test bed, such as the automated video analysis and environmental sensors have other potential beyond mobility and can also be deployed as solutions for Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative.


Applications and use cases

Some of the use cases and technologies being tested at the test bed include:

  • Smart Traffic Camera System – automatically detects vehicles and their speeds, identifying vehicles which flout traffic laws and warning nearby smart vehicles.
  • Smart Parking System – provides real-time parking availability information, gantry-less car park charges, parking violations and enforcement, and helps users locate vehicles in large car parks.
  • Smart Traffic Lights – V2X-based traffic lights that adapt to traffic conditions to improve traffic flow
  • Video conferencing through vehicular wifi network.
  • In-vehicle road signs and messaging
  • Gantryless distance-based electronic road pricing
  • AV safety - Equipping Autonomous Vehicles with additional awareness of surroundings
  • PMD safety - Increasing the safety of vulnerable road users on personal mobility devices (PMD) such as bicycles, e-bikes and e-scooters.