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V2X – The Technology that will Change How We Drive

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In today’s age, technology is advancing faster and faster. Things considered unimaginable to achieve is becoming more tangible, such as computers that can think and self-driving vehicles. A question naturally arises, what will be the next big trend in technology? On April 28, 2021, AAIA hosted a webinar called “Founders Chat: how Engineering Professors Engineered a Startup”. Hosted by Morgan Guo, two professors Steve Liang from the University of Calgary and Tony Qiu from the University of Alberta tell their story of how they left academia to found a startup. As guest speakers of the webinar, they discussed various things, such as how they acquired their first customers and how they fulfilled the needs of customers using the technology they had. Among the topics discussed was what big tech trends they thought will emerge and shape the future. Steve thinks that within “5 years, everything [will have] a built-in device to track its exact location”, as location data is becoming increasingly valuable. On the other hand, Tony thinks that in the future, there will be a technology that enables vehicles to link to other electronic tools, making transportation more interconnected with other smart devices. 

So what exactly is this technology that allows communication between vehicles and devices? V2X, or vehicle to everything technology, is a multi-component system that enables the transfer of information from vehicles to other traffic units. Components include vehicle to vehicle communication and vehicle to infrastructure communication. Vehicle to vehicle communication, or V2V for short, enables the wireless exchange of information such as speed and position of surrounding vehicles. It has promising benefits such a reducing traffic accidents and easing traffic congestion. In fact, implementing this technology will reduce around 61500 vehicle crashes in Canada alone. On the other hand, vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) allows vehicles to share information with highway networks or urban streets. Things like cameras, traffic light information, and even lane markers are shared. In addition, V2I is usually wireless and bidirectional, meaning that infrastructure can provide real-time feedback on things such as road conditions and construction zones. Since V2X technology is still new, it is expected to grow over the next few decades. As a result, much of the potential of V2X is still not realized. By further uncovering the possibilities of V2X, one can hope that in the future, anything can be connected to a vehicle.