Opinion: How Vehicle-to-Everything Tech Can Protect Cyclists

The technology could enable cars and bikes to communicate and reduce collisions.

2 minute read

February 22, 2024, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Man on bike rides next to parked cars.

Pratiwi / Adobe Stock

In an opinion piece in Streetsblog USA, Laszlo Virag describes how ‘vehicle-to-everything’ technology, known as V2X, could improve traffic safety and help people on bikes and in cars ‘talk’ to each other. “The principle of V2X communication is very simple: ten times a second, cars send out invisible radio signals that broadcast the vehicle’s size, current position, speed and direction.”

Expanding the technology to bikes, Virag argues, could “provide critical protection for their riders by prompting V2X cars to display a warning right in front of the driver when a cyclist is about to cross their path.”

Virag adds that the technology could be installed at intersections and on other infrastructure and vehicles. “Best of all, all that anonymized data can then be recorded and aggregated, after which it can be shared with cities to help plan new bike and pedestrian infrastructure, or with navigation apps to give vulnerable road users more data on which routes safe.”

Virag cautions that “none of this technology replaces the need for separated bike lanes — and no cyclist should be blamed for a crash simply because they don’t have a V2X enabled bike that can “talk” to a V2X enabled driver.” But the technology could help improve safety in places with little bike infrastructure. “As cities catch up on infrastructure, even a very low level of V2X penetration can give city leaders the detailed data they need on traffic flow, traffic patterns, and even near-miss incidents.”

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 in Streetsblog USA

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